Twenty years ago, while working as a buyer for Christy Sports in the Vail Valley, Brett Sublett began thinking about how he could someday incorporate his passion for running into a business.
Fast forward to 2015, and that dream is just a month shy of becoming reality. Durango Running Co. is scheduled to open in mid-June at 1175 Camino del Rio, next door to Backcountry Experience.
“It is going to be Durango’s premiere running specialty store,” said Sublett, “meaning we’re only going to have running merchandise.”
Sublett came to Durango in 1999 to attend Fort Lewis College, where he obtained a degree in exercise science and psychology, adding to the finance degree that he earned at the University of Oklahoma.
While attending FLC, he taught skiing at the Durango Nordic Center and also worked part-time at the former Your Running Store before segueing into the footwear and Nordic ski buyer for Backcountry Experience. Sublett always has recognized the need for a store that caters exclusively to runners.
“The running community in Durango is ready for this,” he said. “It will legitimize Durango as a real running community, and people from out of town will want to come here to run. ... We’re not just a mountain biking town anymore.”
He let Backcountry know a couple of years ago that this was something he wanted to do, and they have been agreeable to working with him and not seeing it as a competitive thing. Backcountry will be moving most of its running merchandise over to the Durango Running Co. store.
“Backcountry is an outdoor store, and we do offer running merchandise in the store but also realize that a specialty running store is something Durango needs and is ready for,” he said.
Sublett not only has many years of retail business experience specific to running, he also has a life-long passion for the sport. He ran cross country and track in college and has an impressive athletic résumé that includes many Ironman triathlons and ultra-distance running events.
“After college, I was a bit burnt out on just running, so I jumped into triathlons head-first for a while,” he said. “I was able to compete at a level where I gained some sponsorships and raced professionally for a few years.”
Sublett has done the Hawaii Ironman World Championship race 10 times and has competed in many 100-mile races around the state and country, including the extremely difficult Badwater Ultra through Death Valley.
In addition to Sublett, Durango Running Co. will be staffed with other life-long, passionate and knowledgeable runners who can provide training and racing advice to all levels of runners if desired.
With more parking and more square footage, the store will be able to carry more merchandise, including many or most of the key footwear brands, and everything to complement the year-round runner, whether it’s apparel, snowshoes or nutritional needs.
There will be a community room which will serve as a meeting place for runners, running organizations, race directors, etc.
“It will be a welcoming environment, a place to hang out, read a magazine about running or meet up with friends. ... Kind of a hub for all things running,” Sublett said.
Reach Marjorie Brinton at firstname.lastname@example.org.