Fitsok's can be found in around 100 specialty running stores across the United States. It is within the walls of these stores that the running community finds the gear and supplies to tackle some of the toughest and most rewarding races. Bozeman Running Co is one of the many locally owned stores you can find Fitsok and many other brands. We recently sat down with its founders to see what makes them special.
When did Bozeman Running Co open?
BRC opened in June of 2010.
BRC is located in one of the most scenic areas in the country. How has the store leveraged the geography as part of its identity?
Bozeman is truly a unique place, nestled in the heart of southwest Montana. We are surrounded by trails and wide open gravel and dirt roads that border rivers and mountains. It’s kind of an all-in-one place, and because of this, it’s necessary that we carry a wide variety of running gear. We have over 40 pairs of trail running shoes to choose from and an equal amount of road-specific shoes. Our hydration selection ranges from handhelds and waist belts all the way to vests and fast-packing backpacks. We’re the local run specialty store in town and our goal is to outfit any type of runner – from road to mountain and everything in between.
Tell us about the running community in Montana.
We have a unique running community in Montana and I think it’s mirrored by the diversity of the landscapes that exist here. From road runners, to trail runners, to elite mountain athletes, there is a path here for just about anyone. This allows us to host and sponsor a variety of different events. Through such diversified involvement, the running community here has formed a strong presence and it seems to extend throughout the entirety of the state. A great example would be that we partner with The Runner’s Edge in Missoula for a few events and they are always showing their support here in Bozeman. You’ll see runners from TRE at Bozeman events, and you’ll see BRC runners at Missoula events. There exists this inter-connectedness with Montana runners and I think that is something really special. It’s like we’re all in this together - and the support for shopping local throughout the entire state is tremendous.
What do you think the most important thing brick-and-mortar running stores can do is? Service? Community? Unique products?
I think the most important thing run specialty stores can do is support the community. When you support the community, they support you in return. Service is part of building and maintaining a strong community and we try our best to give back twice as much as we run.
If there is one thing Bozeman Running Company does different than other stores, what is it?
Our community involvement is what sets us apart from other stores, I think. We’ve taken simple events that most running stores host and turn them into something much larger. For example, we host an event every year in October that is focused on the Cancer Support Community. We turn a simple ladies night and fashion show that most stores already host into our biggest fundraising event of the year, Women Who Workout and Wine. We put the community and CSC before the store and it turns out to be our most successful fundraising event of the year. Our 5K Brew Runs are pretty unique and unlike any other event. These 5K runs are not just about the delicious microbrews, but partnering with every single local brewery in town and supporting them while simultaneously offering a free event that motivates folks to get out, exercise, and be social. For every 5K Brew Run, BRC marks a course and hosts it just like your standard 5K race (without chip timing). Each runner receives a raffle ticket and has a chance to win a free pair of shoes or a growler and fill from the local brewery. We usually draw 200 runners of all ages and all levels every month, from May to November.