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Runners Need: Our Heritage

At Runners Need, we have always believed that it’s never too late to start running. Just ask our founder Chris Bould, who didn’t set out on his first run until the age of 26, when he joined the Highgate Harriers in 1979.

Inspired by his experience in the USA, where he raced in the New York City Marathon and visited their specialist running retailers, Chris and his wife Judy founded the first Runners Need in Camden in 1982. Chris went on to break a 30-minute 10K and achieve a PB of 2 hours 22 minutes in the fifth ever London Marathon by 1985. He even started a 10K road race in nearby Regent’s Park. Not bad for a late starter. Nearly 40 years later, Runners Need has a growing portfolio of over 40 nationwide stores and Great Britain and Northern Ireland has more than 8 million people training and racing on the road, track and trails. We want you to join us.

Adhering to the passions and principles of our founders, Runners Need help you achieve your personal fitness goals with the latest products from world-leading brands, friendly, expert advice and a personal service that you can trust.

We genuinely love running and we want to share that enthusiasm and knowledge with our customers, which is why you can visit us in-store and online for expert guidance on anything from training, racing and nutrition to footwear, clothing and electronics. We believe that a great running experience begins with the right shoe, so our staff are trained to offer free video gait analysis and professional fitting services in every store. But we care about more than just kitting you out with a pair of shoes – we source the latest innovations in performance fabrics and footwear, high-tech gadgets and training and nutrition science, so that you get the most out of every run. If running is part of your holistic lifestyle, our range is versatile enough for the gym, yoga, Pilates and spin classes as well.

Our mission

For us, the outdoors is everything. It’s work, it’s play, it’s in our DNA. Put simply, we’d be lost without it. That’s why we want to do everything we can to look after it for generations to come. How? By minimising our impact on the environment, actively protecting the places we love, and helping everyone to enjoy the outdoors in a sustainable way. We’re working towards a more circular economy that’s better for the great outdoors and everyone who enjoys exploring it, too.

Our 3-year goals

It’s no secret that climate change and unsustainable lifestyles are devastating the environment and the outdoor places we love to explore. It’s playing havoc with the seasons, polluting wild places, damaging ecosystems and depleting natural resources. In short, it’s changing the outdoors as we know it and we need to do something about it. The task is huge, and we can’t do it alone, but we must take responsibility and do our bit to protect the outdoors.