Earlier this month, I traveled with Taylor to Austin, Texas to attend The Running Event, 2014 edition. Years ago (2008?) I went to the first TRE — what a huge trade show and conference this has become! From a few speakers/seminars and a handful (25 or so?) of vendors, the show has grown to 2 full days of speakers/seminars and over 300 vendors.
In a nutshell, we didn’t stay long enough, even though we missed our flight home!
Primarily, we learned where the running specialty industry is right now. It appears the market has matured but that’s not a bad thing. There are many more players out there currently than 10 years ago and that has caused all companies to revisit their shoe offerings and designs. There are fascinating newer brands and we are currently evaluating a number of them and plan to introduce at least one new brand in early 2015.
There are also numerous folks out there making things you didn’t know you needed! And perfecting things you already have. Or selling items you thought ‘wouldn’t that be a good idea?’ A perfect example of the latter is the dog leash system that I came across. Two companies actually offered a set-up that I had often envisioned. Running with my border collie Polo, I have been at times challenged to keep him in check when he tries to go after a bus or truck or another dog. At the end of the run my left arm often felt longer than my right from holding him back.
But a company called Stunt Puppy offers a waist belt (which I always thought would be a good idea) and stretchy leash. Viola! “Look ma, no hands!” Polo can pull and pull and I have much more control. We already have them in stock so if you are running with a dog you should seriously consider taking a look!
We also plan to bring in other new products like ‘Roos’ pockets to carry gels and valuables while you run, TriggerPoint rollers and stick massagers, Orange Mud seat covers and bottle carriers, Redfox wireless headphones and who knows what else?
And we are looking at some store layout and design changes which will probably evolve over time. Finally, but perhaps most important, we are hoping to offer some more frequent clinics and special nights featuring various products and/or training advice.
Stay tuned! 2015 will mark 13 years for Runners’ Retreat and we hope we can be an even greater resource to you for all things running and racing! Or just staying healthy!