Let me start with full disclosure. The Brooker family (Tim, Carol, Anders [and soon to be Meg]) are friends of mine. But, that friendship has little bearing on my comments below.
Yesterday (July 13th), the Runner's Edge celebrated their 11th Anniversary as Missoula's (and western Montana's) running specialty store. That's a big deal for a small business - to fight off the competition, economic turmoil and a myriad of daily challenges to success. But, here they stand after more than a decade. But,, the question begs - why have they been successful and survived when so many other small businesses (in Missoula, Montana, and throughout the country) have folded up their tents???
Because they "get it". They know the sport. They know their customers. They provide unparallelled customer service. They've developed partnerships with other local and regional events, organizations, businesses and individuals. They are actively (and I mean actively) involved in all aspects of the sport in the Missoula region. Sponsorships, classes, coaching, group runs, donations, etc. If there is something going on with running in the region, you can almost be certain that Runner's Edge will be somehow connected.
They have great products and a full selection of shoes, clothing, gear and accessories. They know the products they sell. They stand behind their products.
The staff is great. Anders, Tim, Vicki, Mike, Tyson, John, Colleen, Meg. Pleasant - Knowledgeable - Committed They bring their best to the table every day to make sure you have the best possible products to help you enjoy the sport.
Time Out Sports in Billings is Montana's first running specialty store and has been around for over 20 years. Bozeman Running Company has taken over the old Fleet Feet store and is on the upswing. And, Tread Lightly in Helena and Southwest Sports in Butte are a couple of the new kids on the block. They all do a good job and it's great to have that many running specialty stores in our little corner of the world. But, in my mind, they all take a back seat to Runner's Edge. RE has set the gold standard in the Big Sky for running specialty stores.
In fact, they may be one of the best running stores in all of the Western U.S. During my travels, I like to check out running stores in the various cities that I visit. And, quite honestly, RE can run toe to toe with pretty much any of the stores I've ever set foot in.
So - congratulations Anders and all of the Runner's Edge crew on 11 years of service to the Missoula running community. Thanks for all that you do for the sport; and, here's to hoping for a strong, successful 2nd decade of business.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard