Runners Need is built on a philosophy of inspiration and self-improvement, coupled with the belief that it’s never too late to start running. Our founder, Chris Bould, instantly recognised the mental and physical benefits, and his personal discovery formed the foundation of Runners Need, the brand we know and love today. Now, with more than 50 stores and over 8 million active runners across the UK, we’re continuing our journey to inspire the next generation of runners, and we want you to join us.
We strive to beat our personal best, time and time again. As we celebrate our 40th birthday, we look back at some of our most memorable milestones.
1982: Chris Bould and his wife Judy founded Runners Need, opening the first store in Camden. Inspired by a specialist running retailer when running the New York City Marathon, they aimed to provide quality kit and expert advice to runners of all abilities.
1985: Just nine years after his first run, Chris went on to break a 30-minute 10K and achieve a PB of 2 hours, 22 minutes in the fifth ever London Marathon – an extraordinary double-feat.
1990: The ’90s saw the introduction of footwear regulations at races, and advancements in sporting innovations and technology. We were on the pulse of what customers required and began to stock and offer advice on regulatory-approved footwear.
1995: With an improved understanding of how the body functions in low oxygen environments, altitude training really took off. Runners Need began incorporating this knowledge and technology into our products and advice.
1999: A landmark year for runners worldwide. The fastest mile was run by Moroccan, Hitcham El Guerrouj, at a blistering pace of 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds! The record still stands today.
2000: Runners Need entered the 21st century with a bang, launching our website and online store, offering products and advice at the click of a button, bringing us to the forefront of innovation and technology.
2009: As the age of the smartphone began, our mobile site was launched. The ability to purchase top-quality kit on the move increased Runners Need’s accessibility, reach and e-commerce.
2011: Committed to mental and physical conditioning, long-distance running, and all that goes with it, we began sponsoring the Royal Parks Half Marathon, an event we still sponsor to this day.
2012: We started our very own run club: the RN Camden Run Club. There’s still no better place to raise your heart rate than where it all started, so if you’re ever in Camden, why not come and join us?
2016: We launched our Recycle My Run campaign, allowing people to recycle their old running shoes with us, rewarding them with £20 off a new pair of trainers.
2020: Recognised for our high-quality products and passionate and expert advice, Runners Need were awarded National Retailer of the Year 2020 by Trail Running Magazine.
2021: Runners Need’s brand continued to grow as we hit 40k followers on Instagram which has grown to 50k in 2022. Social media is fundamental in helping us to grow our running community.
2022: It’s our 40th birthday! We’ve seen a lot of change around the world since 1982, but our dedication to helping everyone find the run for them is the same as when we opened our very first store.