Boulder Running Company co-founder Mark Plaatjes is back doing what he loves, combining his 20-year physical therapy practice with a full-service running store. And it seems fitting that his new store is just a block from the Bolder Boulder starting line.
The new store, In Motion Running, just opened in a shopping plaza at 30th and Walnut streets, so more than 40,000 runners will be able to see it as they line up, wave after wave, to run Colorado’s biggest and best-known road race on Memorial Day.
Plaatjes, a naturalized American from South Africa who won a gold medal in the marathon at the 1993 track and field world championships, co-founded the Boulder Running Company in 1995. BRC eventually expanded to stores in Denver, Littleton, Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs, but Plaatjes sold the business in 2013 when partner Johnny Halberstadt wanted to cash out. Plaatjes had a devoted following and continued to work for BRC for a year but left in 2014.
His original physical therapy clinic was upstairs from the original BRC location at 27th and Pearl. He continued to practice there after leaving BRC until opening the new store 10 weeks ago. Now In Motion Rehabilitation, which has a clientele that includes elite runners, ordinary plodders and nonrunners, is in the rear of the running store. Meanwhile, BRC does business in the original location less than a mile away under corporate ownership.
“The first few weeks a lot of people came in and the first words out of their mouths were, ‘We’re so glad you’re open,’ ” said Greg Weich, who serves as floor manager and footwear buyer for In Motion Running. “A lot of people have come in and said, ‘It feels like the old days, the old Boulder Running Company.’ Trying to help people with problems instead of just selling a shoe has always been our motivation. We have family feel, just like the old store.”
In fact, Weich worked for Plaatjes at BRC for nearly 20 years, and all three of Plaatjes’ daughters work at In Motion Running. His wife, Shirley, is a certified massage therapist who practices in the physical therapy clinic.