On the eighth anniversary of Big River Running, it’s fun to reflect on how Big River came to be!
It was on a run nearly 9 years ago that my longtime friend and I committed to the crazy idea of opening our own running store in our hometown of St. Louis. Both in our mid-twenties, neither of us had ever embarked on such a huge endeavor, much less considered it. As roommates at Truman State we used to talk about opening our own store, but it was more of a dream, not necessarily something we thought would actually happen. Fast forward one year to 2006 when the doors to Big River Running Company opened. Getting to that moment was a remarkable feat. Countless hours were spent planning, reading and budgeting. We learned so much in such a short period of time. The support from friends, family and the running industry was huge. Without them it never would have happened.
We held our breath the first few weeks our door was open as word spread about Big River in the St. Louis running and walking community. Our vision was simple. Be authentic, be welcoming and share our passion. Luckily the running community recognized that Big River was more than just a place to buy running shoes and adopted us as their go-to running destination. Big River grew quickly. It became a movement! A lifestyle. Big River Nation! We added stores to areas of the community that were underserved. We understood that just being a retailer was not enough so we added group runs. Soon after that we added summer speedwork, then high school running camps. Later we added training teams and clinics. Our goal was, and has always been, to be more than a store. And the community has embraced our mission and passion as much as we’ve embraced the running community.
Now fast forward 8 years from the day Big River was born – August 14, 2006! What started as two guys in a tiny shop in West County has grown into nearly 40 team members in 4 stores throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Big River has grown into a business that is recognized for its unwavering commitment to the local running community. Thousands of St. Louis runners and walkers look to Big River to help them reach their fitness and life goals and to help them find the right pair of shoes, that perfect outfit or that helpful accessory to make their running and walking more enjoyable. As I look forward to the future I’m excited to watch the St. Louis running and walking community continue to grow, and I can promise you Big River will be right there running alongside.
— Matt Helbig, Owner/Founder of Big River Running Company