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Festival of Miles – 10 years running!

We are just over two weeks away from the 2017 edition of Festival of Miles, and we hope you are making plans to join us! The meet will take place Thursday night June 1 at St. Louis University High School beginning at 6:30 p.m.

We can’t believe that we’re celebrating a decade of bringing the fastest, most exciting charity track meet to St. Louis. Together we can make FOM #10 the best yet.

At the heart of Festival of Miles’ mission is supporting an Athlete In Need each year. This year we are pleased to introduce Cassie Gorecki as the 2017 beneficiary of our June 1 event. Cassie is an athlete, Girls on the Run Coach and PE teacher at Shaw VPA in the St. Louis Public School District. Unfortunately, in December 2016 while 21 weeks pregnant Cassie was diagnosed with cancer. The large tumor (the size of a football) was located on her back and spine. Cassie decided to wait on surgery to give her baby the best chance for a healthy birth. A week after giving birth to baby Gus, she underwent a 10+ hour surgery to remove the tumor. As a result of the cancer and surgery, Cassie has an incomplete spinal chord injury resulting in paralysis from the naval down. She faces a long road of physical and occupational therapy, but she’s a fighter!

FOM2017buttonFestival of Miles is a success when our whole community pitches in! Want to know how your kids can participate? Registration for the GO! St. Louis Healthy Kids Mile (kindergarten through 5th grade) and Middle School Mile (6th – 8th grade) is in full swing. Be sure to sign your youngsters up for a mile race they’ll always remember.

Speedy middle schoolers wanting to be considered for the Jr. High Invitational Mile should sign up for the Middle School Mile. Invite milers will be notified of their acceptance race week.

Added in 2011, the Women’s 800 has quickly become a crowd favorite, with competitive fields, fast times and plenty of PRs!

Now is the time to spread the word to your family and friends so we can pack SLUH on June 1!

Make every run a “10”

Saucony Ride 10

Get ready to make every run a “10” with the updated Saucony Ride 10! Bringing plenty of innovation to this neutral trainer, the Ride still remains true to its heritage. Providing the wearer with the legendary Saucony running experience of comfort and cushion, expect to log some serious miles in this shoe. The newly updated engineered mesh upper provides higher volume in the toe box and a softer step-in for immediate comfort and a truly dynamic fit while the woven heel counter creates a ‘lock-down’ fit, eliminating heel movement. Underfoot, the Saucony Ride 10 is springy and responsive, cushioning your every stride thanks to the full length Everun top sole and the TRI-FLEX outsole design provides greater ground contact and optimal flexibility.

What does all this shoe tech mean exactly? We had our staff give us some feedback in their own words.

“The new Ride feels amazing in the toe box, very airy and a little bit roomier than the previous version, which I think customers will find more comfortable and it is the perfect weight for running, walking and even the gym.”  – Summer from University City store

“I am overall very pleased with the new Saucony Ride 10.The step-in feel is soft, giving the upper a plushness. The Tri Flex sole helps distribute shock throughout the whole foot, which is nice for all kinds of strides.” – Scott from South City store

Key take-away specs from the new Ride 10:

  1. The Ride 10 offers more even distribution between the heel and the forefoot with an 8mm offset. The result? Your body stays in a more balanced and comfortable position with every foot strike.
  2. Everun top sole is livelier and more responsive, with smoother landings and stronger takeoffs.
  3. Flexfilm bonded seams allow for fewer layers in the shoe resulting in a seamless, flexible feel.
  4. Tri-flex outsole increases force dispersion over a greater surface area while also delivering optimal flexibility and traction.

Visit one of our three locations today and experience a perfect “10” for yourself.







Mercy Sports Medicine: Recovery and Regeneration in Athletes

By Brian Bounds, MPT, ATC, CSCS

Certified Athletic Trainer, Mercy Sports Medicine – Head Athletic Trainer, Saint Louis Football Club

Why Recovery is Important – Recovery and regeneration is just as important to a training program as the actual training sessions. Combining quality training with quality rest results in an overall improvement. The better a  recovery, the more quickly the body is prepared for another high intensity workout. Recovery and regeneration allows the body to adapt to demands placed on it during training to become stronger and faster and to perform at a higher level.

Finding a Balance is the Key – Throughout my career, I have worked with a majority of athletes and coaches who believe the more they do, the better they will become. This is partially true as an athlete must properly overload his or her body in order to improve; however, there must also be a balance. Do too much and risk fatigue, burnout, and potential injury. Do too little and an athlete plateaus and sees minimal improvements. Therefore, a proper balance must be achieved to see results.  An important part of this balance, which many athletes neglect must include a proper recovery and regeneration.

Being Active in a Modified Way – Recovery should be seen as Active Rest. Light activity on days off facilitates recovery as it improves blood flow and circulation to spread important nutrients into your muscles and therefore accelerates the regeneration process.

Ways to Achieve Active Rest:

  • Walk your dog
  • Shoot hoops (lightly such as playing HORSE)
  • Walk or swim in a swimming pool
  • Dribble or juggle a soccer ball

Active rest should not be strenuous but should simply get blood flowing and doing an activity you enjoy will also make active rest fun. In addition to Active Recovery, Passive Recovering can also assist the regeneration process.

Ways to Passively Recover:

  • Cold baths/showers
  • Alternating between hot and cold showers (contrast baths/showers)
  • Hot tub or whirlpool
  • Stretching in a sauna
  • Massage
  • Deep, diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing)
  • Relaxation, meditation, and mental imagery techniques

Always Sleep & Hydrate Too – Adequate rest is also crucial to recovery and regeneration. Your body needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. The majority of your adaptations occur while sleeping.  During periods of heavy activity, your body may even require more than 8 hours of sleep.

In addition to proper rest, it is vital to hydrate your body. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sports drinks are best for during training and events; however, try to drink mostly water. Fuel recovery by taking in nutrients immediately following a workout or match. This could be a meal or in liquid form. Chocolate milk is proven to stimulate recovery. Try to keep a ratio of 4-6 carbohydrates to 1 protein during your post-workout meal or drink. You may also eat a light snack about an hour before going to sleep. This could be yogurt, fruit, a snack bar, or protein shake. Having nutrients in your body before you fall asleep allows your body to utilize those nutrients during its regeneration process.

Incorporate these simple active and passive methods from Brian to aid in your recovery and regeneration!

Mercy Clinic Sports Medicine offices are located at 15945 Clayton Road, Suite 210 (Phone: 636-893-1360) and 633 Emerson Road, Suite 20 (Phone: 314-325-3068).

Altra Offerings

Altra Escalante web buttonDid you know Big River carries Altra? If you aren’t familiar with the brand, Altra shoes are known for having a FootShape toe box, which allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position. Altra footwear is also designed to be full cushioned zero drop, which allows for a natural balance that aligns the feet, back and body posture for less impact. 

Altra recently introduced a brand new shoe – the Escalante – which we now have at Big River West County. You’ll love the sleek aesthetics on the Escalante with its engineered knit upper and sock like fit. But sometimes it’s what is on the inside that counts. Altra equipped the Escalante with a new midsole compound called “Altra Ego” to give the shoe great responsiveness, energetic rebound and minimal ground contact. 

We also carry Altra’s Lone Peak, which is designed for trail running and hiking, and the Torin, which is perfect for the roads. Here’s what Big River fit expert Dan (featured below) says about the Lone Peak: It’s almost like Altra’s were made for my foot. The zero-drop design and a wide foot-shaped toe box makes for a comfortable fit. There’s also just enough of cushion and tread to handle technical trails. My Lone Peak’s are usually waiting in the trunk of my car and also a bit muddy.” If you haven’t experienced the feel of an Altra, visit Big River West County to try them on today! Thanks for shopping local! 

Meet the Staff: Dan

Dan Neuhaus Bio PicSouth City staffer, Dan was first introduced to Big River in 2007 while attending Winter Distance Camp as a part of Kirkwood High School’s running cross country and track training. Throughout college, he quickly discovered a love for trail running and officially joined the Big River staff in July of 2016.

Dan loves that Big River not only provides a selection of high quality products to the St. Louis area, but also serves as a community hub for health and wellness. “Whether it’s participating in a training team, group run, or any of the other community events we participate in, I’m always impressed by the quality of involvement from our customers and community,” says Dan.

Dan’s love of trail running has led him to discover beautiful parts of the area. He recommends the Chubb Trail, especially the section along the Meramec River at West Tyson County Park. Experience a low traffic and well-maintained trail for a jaunt through prairies and alongside steep ridges with impressive views of the River valley.

Dan has even doubled his trail runs as scouting expeditions for mushroom hunting! “I discover likely places to find morels, chanterelles, or other edible mushrooms,” says Dan. Yet another reason to access the St. Louis area’s abundant parks and trails!

Dan’s Favorite Gear:

Road Shoe- New Balance 860v7– Plenty of stability and firm, responsive cushioning. It’s relatively lightweight for a stability shoe, and the wider toe box provides plenty of wiggle room.

Trail Shoe- Altra Lone Peak 3.0–  The zero-drop design and a wide foot-shaped toe box makes for a comfortable fit. There’s also just enough of cushion and tread to handle technical trails. Dan’s pair of Lone Peak’s are usually waiting in the trunk of his car and also a bit muddy.

Apparel- 2XU Compression Socks. Not only an enormous aid in Dan’s performance, these socks are also so comfortable that Dan sometimes sleeps in them. They have also worked wonders on his shin splints and have helped improve recovery after heavier workouts.

Can’t Go on a Run Without – Garmin Forerunner 235. A necessity for keeping track of his pace. Dan reports his watch has allowed him to dial in to his workouts while also helping him keep track of training schedules.

Nutrition- Hammer Recoverite. Along with compression socks and foam rolling, Recoverite helps to keep Dan from getting bogged down in recovery. After a long run, the difference in how his muscles feel with and without Recoverite is significant enough that he always have a package close at hand.

Customer Stories: Love on the Run


We love our customers! We have always been passionate about being more than a “place to buy shoes.” It is a privilege to help, connect and develop relationships with people in St. Louis through our stores and community programs. A recent example highlights just how awesome it is for us when Big River becomes a part of people’s lives!

Amanda and Matt have played an integral role with Big River’s Training Team as pacers for the last four seasons. Amanda paces one of our walk/run groups and Matt paces the 8:45 group. On April 1, they tied the knot! While they didn’t meet through Big River, both Matt and Amanda expressed the role that running and Big River has played in their lives and wanted to capture that on their wedding day.

Q&A with Amanda:

How did you meet? It would be fun to say Matt and I met while running a race in St Louis. The honest truth is we met on a dating website. Yes, meeting on one of those sites does work! We have been together for almost three years, and are excited to now be married! Many people think that Matt was the one who got me involved in running but it’s the other way around.
How did Big River make the cut for a photo opp on your wedding day? Big River Running has been such a big part of our life. We told fellow Training Team pacer/maid of honor Katie and groomsman Jason to bring a pair of running shoes with them. We knew we wanted to get something involving running in our photos. Big River South City is the store we visit the most, so we made the magic happen. I will admit that we got a few funny looks when we went in. Our favorite picture, though, ended up being outside under the store sign.
What are your future running goals? Matt is contemplating a marathon in the future. I’m looking forward to beating my Macklind Mile time from 2016.
What is one goal you have for your marriage? Biggest marriage goal is just loving each other and growing older together.
Are you going on a honeymoon? We look forward to planning our honeymoon very soon. We know we want to go somewhere warm, with a beach and the ocean!
Did we mention that Amanda and Matt also delivered wedding cake to all three Big River stores the day after their celebration? Now that’s going above and beyond as a customer! Big River Nation – join us in congratulating Amanda and Matt on their wedding and wishing them the best in the future!

Mercy Sports Medicine: Counteract Sitting All Day at Work

By Daniel Herrin, MS, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer, Mercy Sports Medicine

As a society, we all spend way too much time in the sitting position. This puts us at a disadvantage when it comes time for our workouts and exercise routines. No matter if you run every day of the week or once a week, here are a few tips that can help counteract the postural deficits we acquire from prolonged bouts of sitting.

Make Subtle Changes in Your Workday – For those whose jobs or school settings require extensive time spent in a chair, try to allow yourself a minute or two every 30 minutes to stand up and stretch a bit. Spend your lunch break on your feet instead of sitting at a table. Try to incorporate simple exercises within your workday to better engage your core, like diaphragm breathing or pelvic tilts. While sitting at your desk, try to maintain good posture with the hips, shoulders, and head in neutral position (opposite of the common hunched over position many assume).

Spend More Time Warming Up for Workouts/Exercise – If the gluteal muscles along with the rest of our core muscle group have become inactive from prolonged bouts of sitting, then it is important to create pre-exercise routines to help activate those groups for injury prevention purposes. Breathing exercises can help initiate the foundation of our core stability before exercising. Glute activation can be achieved through hip extension exercises like double and single leg bridges. More dynamic warm up exercises include performing lunges in all four directions, along with alternating split squats.

Being Aware and Having a Plan – Setting daily time limits on how long we may allow ourselves, and more importantly our children, to use iPads or browse on our mobile phones. Instead of a casual morning routine of watching the news while eating breakfast, finish the meal first and then take the additional time to perform yoga exercises in front of the television. Each individual has their own unique habits and routines specific to their day, but the key is to first identify those habits that may negatively impact our posture (i.e., long bouts of sitting), and then make realistic adjustments that can better influence good posture and be consistently replicated throughout the week.

If you have questions or would like details on implementing this advice, email Daniel at Daniel.Herrin@mercy.net.

When were your feet last measured?

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 4.09.25 PMDid you know the official name of this tool is the Brannock Device? It is the standard foot measuring tool around the world! Correctly fitting footwear can prevent long term foot and other health issues, and the proper fit starts with measuring heel-to-toe length, arch length and foot width.

When was the last time you stepped on a Brannock to have your feet professionally measured? Did you know that feet change size over time due to aging, gravity, weight gain or loss, or due to the development of health conditions like diabetes or arthritis. Did you know that 60% of people have two different sized feet?  Visit Big River today to have your feet measured by professionals. It’s a part of our complimentary, in-depth fit process.

Top Running Store … 10 Years Running

50-best-2016-logoWow! We are honored and humbled. Big River was recently recognized as one of The 50 Best Running Stores in America® by Running Insight and Competitor Magazine. We were the only St. Louis based store to be recognized in the Top 50. This is our 10th consecutive year to be honored as a top-50 running store in America – every year we’ve been open.

Big River earned the honor following an extensive nomination and review process that rated the store on its customer service, product knowledge, merchandising and community service. All stores are visited by a secret shopper, and this year, Big River was one of only 8 stores in the country that earned a perfect secret shopping score.

A huge thank you to our staff who bring the awesome everyday. And an enormous thank you to all of YOU! You bring out the best of Big River!

Holiday Lights Run 2016

Big River South City is your headquarters for Holiday Lights Runs this December! Gather your family, friends and running buddies at Big River – South City any weeknight from December 5 – 23 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Big River Running will provide you with maps of a twinkling 3-mile route and post-run hot cocoa!

We close at 7pm so please plan your run and finish time accordingly.

What to bring:

  • Holiday spirit! Feel free to dress up!
  • Headlamp and reflective apparel and gear
  • Your friends, family and running buddies
  • Donations to help families in need this holiday season (see Tis the season! below)
  • Money! Big River will be selling commemorative Holiday Lights Run mugs and ornaments!

Big River Running will provide you with:

  • A detailed map of a 3-mile route featuring some of the amazing holiday lights displays in St. Louis Hills like Snowflake Street and Candy Cane Lane!
  • Post-run hot cocoa

Tis the season for giving!

Big River Running has partnered with the Santa’s Helpers charity to make the holidays a little brighter for St. Louis families in need.  If the spirit moves you, please consider bring in any of the following items to Big River – South City:

  • Toys (new and unwrapped)
  • Children’s books (new and unwrapped)
  • Clothing (new, infant through adult sizes needed)

Big River – South City will be accepting donations for Santa’s Helpers from December 1 – December 19.