Kibworth entrepreneur is re-opening his running store again – after being locked down most of the year
Rob Pullen opened the Leicester Running Shop back in 2007 – and he’s still going strong 13 years and thousands of pairs of trainers later
A Kibworth entrepreneur is re-opening his top running store again – after being locked down most of the year.
Rob Pullen, 46, opened the Leicester Running Shop back in 2007 – and he’s still going strong 13 years and thousands of pairs of trainers later.
But the popular and well-known gifted runner from Kibworth Beauchamp is now aiming to put his best foot forward and really hit his stride after months of frustration imposed by the coronavirus crisis.
Talking about the craziest peacetime year the world has ever seen, Rob told the Harborough Mail: “None of us have ever known a year like 2020.
“In racing terms it’s been stop start stop start stretching back to the first Covid lockdown at the end of March.
“It’s been impossible to get into any sort of rhythm because we’ve been shut more than we’ve been open with the national lockdowns and the local Leicester lockdowns.
“But now it’s got to be a case of onwards and upwards – after all, this whole challenge is going to be a marathon and certainly not a sprint!”
The former county class middle distance track ace and cross country enthusiast added: “I’m staying very positive about our future here as we move towards 2021.
“I set up the shop here on Clarendon Park Road in Leicester back in 2007 after being made redundant at a Wigston pharmaceutical company.
“I was always moaning about not being able to get my hands on top-class trainers locally.
“My mates at the pub told me to stop whinging – and set up my own shop for runners.
“So I did – and I’ve never looked back.
“This is as close as I’ll get to a dream job in the real world.
“The shop has given me a very steady income over the years and I bought it two years ago so I don’t have to worry about forking out rent,” said Rob, who’s clocked up thousands of miles running the roads and countryside of Harborough over the last 35 years.
“It’s been a very frustrating year but we have so much to look forward to.
“More and more people have turned to running here across Harborough during the lockdowns this year and that’s fantastic to see.
“I get a huge sense of fulfilment and satisfaction from doing my best for all of our customers and hopefully helping to inspire them along the way.
“It’s so easy to go online nowadays and order just about anything you want.
“But for me you cannot beat going into a shop, talking to a dedicated runner like me and getting genuine face-to-face service,” said Rob, whose parents, brother and sister all live in Kibworth too.
“You simply can’t tell if a running shoe, a pair of shorts, off-road socks or a top and a piece of kit is right for you by checking it out on your laptop.
“You can only do that by heading in here and trying it on, trying it out and tapping into all of our experience and knowledge built up at the sharp end over many years.
“You cannot over-estimate how crucial it is to be running in the right shoes for you.
“Buy the wrong footwear and it could end up injuring you as well as making you slower – and discouraging you from strapping them on to go out running in the first place,” said the talented Westend Runners and Bowling Climbing Club devotee.
“Running is just about the greatest thing you can do.
“It’s all about liberation, total freedom.
“You head out in all weathers, in all seasons, to enjoy the fresh air, our stunning local countryside, our Great Outdoors.
“Running makes you so much fitter and stronger for life – not just for running.
“And it’s also right at the heart of good mental health.
“So it couldn’t be more crucial, more critical, in this year of all years when so many of us have been struggling with day to day life,” said Rob.
“So please pop in and see us.
“We are not just here for veteran hardcore runners and racers.
“We are here to help and support Harborough’s entire running community – including all of you who are just starting out.
“We are re-opening from Wednesday December 2.
“Please drop us a line or give us a call on 0116 270 8447 to make an appointment – and let’s go all forward together!”
If you would like to find out more about Rob’s running shop, you can visit his website here: https://www.leicesterrunningshop.co.uk/