After nearly two decades of ownership by original founders, Boulder Running Company (BRC) will become part of the Denver-based Running Specialty Group (RSG). In addition to the flagship location in Boulder, the acquisition includes the Littleton and Colorado Springs locations. The transaction also includes the ecommerce site at

Opened in 1996 by co-owners and running legends Johnny Halberstadt and Mark Plaatjes, South African émigrés, the business is considered one of the top running specialty retail operations in the country. The flagship store on Pearl Street in Boulder was the first store in the U.S. to implement free video gait analysis to help runners select the right shoe model. This customized fitting service is now widely used and has set the standard for what runners expect at a premier specialty running store.

BRC is consistently ranked by local publications as the best running store in Denver and Boulder and has been repeatedly ranked among the top running stores in the U.S. by the Independent Running Retailers of America (IRRA), including the number one ranking in 2006.

Teaming up with the proven expertise and resources offered by the Running Specialty Group will enable us to continue growing and thriving while concentrating even more on providing passionate customer service, says Halberstadt.

Further strengthening the Boulder Running Companys operating model and reputation for dedication to runners and their needs is the physical therapy facility, In Motion Rehabilitation, located in the Boulder and Littleton stores and owned and operated by Plaatjes, a world-renowned physical therapist. The facilities are not part of the acquisition but will continue to be closely associated with the stores.

This is a great opportunity for me to continue working with our wonderful staff in the stores that I love, adds Plaatjes.
Current plans are for Plaatjes to continue assisting with the management of BRC while Halberstadt will stay through a transition period and then move into a consulting role. All other onsite staff will remain. According to the new owners, RSG also plans to add more BRC locations in metro Denver and possibly other markets based on the broad appeal of the name and the stores national reputation for excellence.

The new owners have prioritized keeping BRC local and connected to the community through personalized services and support of special events. Weekly runs and walking groups are offered at all three locations with local sponsors and refreshments to build camaraderie and connections among local runners.

We have great respect for the history and heritage of Boulder Running Company because we understand the heart, the energy, the risk, and the commitment it takes to build and maintain running stores of this caliber, says Ken Gart, partner of Gart Capital Partners. We have admired these stores and Halberstadts and Plaatjes philosophy for so many years that we are really honored to have it as part of the RSG group.

Running Specialty Group (RSG), which is a joint-partnership between Gart Capital Partners and The Finish Line, is a leading specialty running retail business with 38 stores located primarily in the Northeast, Virginia, Florida, Indianapolis, Kentucky, Texas and Colorado.  The company also operates an ecommerce business,