Post Date: September 18, 2015
Author: Zachery Green
Best friends Matt Helbig and Ben Rosario have always had a passion for running. As kids they ran with the St. Louis Blazers youth track team, as teens they ran track for their respective high schools (Rockwood Summit and SLU High). When the two attended college at Truman, they were teammates on the men’s track and field team. The running didn’t end with college. Matt and Ben continued to run together post-collegiately long after they graduated. It was on one of these post-collegiate runs that Matt and Ben started to discuss opening their own running store. Although neither had a background in business, their love of running drove them to transform this passing thought into a reality, and Big River Running Company was born.
Matt and Ben opened the first Big River store in Ballwin in 2006, and the store quickly became a success. Over the next several years, the company would continue to grow, opening new locations and expanding its catalog of products and services. Although Ben left the company in 2012 to pursue another opportunity, Big River continued to prosper. Today it is considered one of the top 50 running stores in the nation and has four locations spread across the St. Louis region, including one in U City.
In November 2013, Big River Running Company purchased Missouri Running Company, which was located at 606 North and South Road. Missouri Running Company had served U City’s running community for years, but its owners decided that it was time to devote more time to family and other pursuits. Matt was thrilled to procure a company with such a strong reputation and was determined to build upon its legacy as a strong, locally-owned running and walking store. He was also glad to have a store location among the diverse array of businesses that can be found in the North and South Business District.
With an expansive catalog of products and services, it’s no wonder that Big River Running Company has proven to be such a success in U City and elsewhere. The store offers a wide selection of high-quality footwear, apparel, accessories and nutrition. It also provides each customer with an individualized fitting process tailored to find a pair of shoes that match his or her feet and gait. Among the reputable shoe and apparel brands offered at the store are Nike, Under Armour, Asics and Mizuno. Accessories offered include hydration containers, insoles, watches and blister-resistant socks. Nutritional products offered include a variety of supplements, nutritional bars and energy drink mixes.
In addition to in-store products and services, Big River Running also offers several training programs and running group opportunities. Training programs include half and full marathon training and a summer speedwork program. Running group opportunities include group runs every Monday night and pub runs on the third Wednesday of every month from April to September. Big River Running also offers annual summer and winter educational running camps to middle and high school students. These camps are geared toward helping students establish the skills and endurance needed to run both competitively and recreationally. On top of all of that, Big River Running also has a sister company called Big River Race Management. Big River Race Management works with over 190 races a year ranging from road racing and cross county to triathlons and cycling.
Whether you’re an experienced runner or a novice, you can’t go wrong with Big River Running Company. From their stylish and functional shoes and apparel to their terrific training programs and running groups, they offer everything that runners at all ability levels could ever wish for. Of course, it’s not just the shoes or the training programs that make Big River so great. It’s also the company’s ties to the area. The people behind the company aren’t just runners. They’re St. Louis runners. They’re kindred spirits to everyone who loves running in this great city, and they will continue to support the regions running community for years to come.
606 North and South Rd
University City, MO 63130