Specialist Running Retailers in Worcestershire
For a country with a population of half a million people, Worcestershire is limited in terms of specialist running retailers. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality with RunStuff in Evesham and Runaround Sports in Worcester.
David and Louise Bugg are the proprietors of Birdseye Sports on Evesham’s High Street where the RunStuff brand is a major part of the operation. David and Louise acquired the RunStuff name in 2010 and have been working hard since then to build links with the local running community. And there they have an advantage, as a young family they are already part of the local sporting scene. Both David and Louise are runners with Louise a keen triathlete too.
Louise took time out recently to talk about their plans: “This is something of a lifestyle business and involves the whole family. We’re always busy at the High Street store where we stock a good range of shoes and clothing (midlandsrunningguide.com noticed Asics, Brooks, Puma and Mizuno on the shelves) plus ancillary items like Soleus watches, 2XU compression clothing and SIS energy products. We pretty much cover all the bases there. However we love to get out and about whether that’s on RunStuff business at races we support like the Blackminster Half, Evesham 10K or Fladbury Festive 5; or at events we’re taking part in.
“We have three children - they provide instant feedback on the junior running products we stock - so we’re always to be found in the outdoors. Maybe that’s why we have a big soft spot for trail running - there are lots of great routes around the town including the Evesham battle trail and the Blossom trail and our friends at Cotswold Running organise some great events both near at hand - the Evesham Ultra, and further afield - the Broadway Marathon and Half and the Naunton Nearly 19. Naturally we keep a good stock of trail shoes - lots of Salomon models - and Helly Hansen apparel.
“Shoe fitting is one of our strengths whether for trail or road running and our excellent gait analysis service ensures customers leave the store with the right product. We are extending both our shoe and our clothing range on an ongoing basis, and we’ve worked hard over the last three years to build both trade and reputation despite a period of transformation in Evesham town centre. However as that settle downs and we await the arrival of Waitrose, the team here at RunStuff is looking forward to a bright future.”
We left Louise and David updating plans for a 3,000km challenge they are undertaking as a family - Will, Emma and Zoe are involved too - to bike, swim and run over 1,800 miles in a six month period to 31 December in aid of the Mary Jane Fund - see themaryjanefund.co.uk.
Just 15 miles west across the county, Ollie Davy is the man at the helm at Runaround Sports on a leafy street in historic Worcester. Ollie migrated north from Malvern a few years back so his connections extend throughout Worcestershire as does his reputation for first-class service. One online review said: “Called in for some advice … absolutely bowled over by the sound, quality advice and customer care. A really knowledgeable and enthusiastic manager; if you’re into running and need anything go here first! A far cry from a regular multichain sports shop! While another said: “I called in on the off chance when in Worcester to look at some running shoes and I was blown away by the professionalism of the staff. It was like going to a Saville Row tailors but for your feet!”
Ollie also hosts a very informative Runaround Sports Facebook page with lots of great advice for runners on avoiding injury, new products and local events.
This article was featured in Midlands Running Guide Autumn 2014