Co-founder of Boulder Running Company is getting back in the shoe game with new store
The man behind making the Boulder Running Company a popular player on the Front Range running scene is getting back into the shoe game after a four-year absence.
Mark Plaatjes, a physical therapist and former world champion in the marathon who co-founded BRC with Johnny Halberstadt in 1995, has confirmed rumors that he will open a new running store in Boulder this summer. It will be called In Motion Running.
Plaatjes’ PT practice is called In Motion Rehabilitation.
Plaatjes and Halberstadt sold the BRC stores to the Gart Companies in 2013. Plaatjes remained with BRC as an employee for a year after the sale but left the company in 2014. BRC was sold again last year.
Plaatjes this week said he misses selling shoes and the culture of running specialty stores.
“It was part of my life for 18 years,” Plaatjes said in his PT clinic Thursday. “I love the balance between physical therapy and the store. It’s totally different interactions. I miss helping people in a different way than I do here. And it was just a wonderful way for me to be in touch with the whole running community. I miss it a lot.”
Plaatjes, a naturalized American from South Africa, won a gold medal in the marathon at the 1993 world championships. His PT clinic is on the second floor above the original BRC store on Pearl Street in Boulder. His new store will be located in Boulder at 30th and Walnut, and his PT practice will relocate there when the store opens. The target date for opening is Aug. 1.
Like many great things in my life, it was a friend who introduced me to The Dash & Dine Run Series. We went on the final night of the series in 2015. It was darkish outside and rainy and cold and it seemed that only the “serious” people were out that night. I mean really, if you had to choose between your couch on a night like that and running a 5k in the rain with a bunch of strangers, wouldn’t you choose the couch? I’ll cut to the chase. It was so much fun and it was so gratifying that I waited all the next year for the series to start again. I wasn’t going to miss out.
A 5k. It’s a nice low number and if you convert it to miles, it’s even lower; 3.1 miles. It can be a tougher distance for long distance runners but for the REST of us, it’s completely manageable. Like, even if you walk/run or run/walk or mostly walk with a side of running, it’s manageable. And when you’re done, there’s food waiting for you. And there’s the lovely feeling you get when you realize you could’ve stayed home to watch Netflix or make dinner or clean our your kid’s lunchbox but you chose to go for a group run instead. It’s like the best feeling. Way better than the one you get from cleaning out the lunchbox.
Is it a race? For some. Is it timed? Yes. Do you have to race? No. Here’s how you do it; you show up, you run and at the end of the race, you’ll know how long it took you. What you do with that information is up to you. Me? I try to get a little faster. I compete with myself. No matter how long it takes me, I feel proud of myself. At the end of the day, I pushed myself for a small window of time mostly with strangers mixed with a few friends. And someone fed me. It really is awesome. Come on out this year. Don’t be like me. Don’t wait until the last night in the series. And it is fun. It’s not serious. It’s only running. It’s just you, your feet and your (elevated) heart rate having a little Tuesday night date night.
Tuesday nights at the Boulder Reservoir. Series begins April 11th. Don’t wait to see if it fits in your life. Sign up and tell your favorite (or least favorite) friends.
Next time we’ll talk about what to wear (whatever you want) and what you can expect. We’ll also be talking about the 5k distance and I’ll give you some completely novice tips. It will be like a Food Network or HGTV show except no one will cry and you don’t have to make big decisions.