The four Bob Roncker’s Running Spot stores in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area have been acquired by the Denver-based Running Specialty Group, which now owns 46 retail stores that focus exclusively on products and services for runners and walkers at all levels from beginners through elite level competitors.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Longtime owner Bob Roncker will remain with The Running Spot to coordinate the training programs, events and other community outreach endeavors that the stores have become renowned for. The Running Spot has been meeting the needs of local runners for over three decades and has garnered widespread industry accolades and awards including consistently being named to Competitor Group’s Top 50 list of Best Running Stores in America. And last year, Bob Roncker’s Running Spot was one of four running specialty stores nominated for Running Store of the Year, a distinction they won in 2008.
Roncker, a former high school teacher and coach, with his wife Mary Ann, opened his first specialty running store in 1981 in O’Bryonville because of his passion for running and because he recognized there was an unfilled niche for a specialized running store for area runners. After two and a half years, Bob Roncker’s Running Spot gradually expanded to a multi-level store down the street from its original location. Three additional stores in Glendale, Loveland, and Newport, Ken. were opened between 2002 and 2009.
“I feel very fortunate that I have been able to pursue a career in an area which I love,” reports Roncker. “Mary Ann and I feel the time is right to begin the transition to new ownership. With the assistance and resources that RSG provides, our outstanding staff, and my continued involvement, we plan to maintain and improve upon the services that the local community has come to depend upon and expect from us.”
Training groups and programs that prepare runners and walkers for everything from fun runs to marathons will continue. Coaching is available for several signature events like the Flying Pig Full and Half Marathons, the Heart Mini-Marathon, the Thanksgiving Day 10k and the Hyde Park Blast.
“The Running Spot is a top-notch specialty running business with an amazing owner and staff,” explains Ken Gart, managing partner of Running Specialty Group, the group that orchestrated the acquisition. “Bob and the Running Spot team are truly committed to their communities and customers through their many programs that range from training programs for all level of athletes to races and medical outreach activities. His vision and enthusiasm for ‘all things running,’ go a long way to explain why The Running Spot has been the leading specialty store for runners in Cincinnati for so long,” he added.
Running Specialty Group (RSG) is a leading specialty running retail business with 46 stores primarily located in the Northeast, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas and Colorado. The company also operates an ecommerce business, Run.com. RSG is a joint venture partnership between Finish Line and Gart Capital Partners, Ltd.