What began as an innocent idea discussed during a run between friends and teammates turned into an amazing Big River Running community with three stores, 30+ employees, a growing number of first-class signature events and a race management company that works with 150+ races each year.
It began with Matt Helbig and Ben Rosario, native St. Louisans who both ran together as members of the St. Louis Blazers youth track team, competed against one another at their respective high schools (Rockwood Summit and St. Louis University High) and were teammates in college at Truman State University. On a post-collegiate run in December 2004, they started talking about how great it would be to open a running store in St. Louis that really got involved in the running community while offering top-notch service and the best products. Although neither had business backgrounds, both Matt and Ben were passionate about running. Following the advice “Do what you love,” they opened their first store in 2006.
From the beginning, here’s what it’s always been about:
It is really pretty simple. We love running. We love St. Louis and wanted to create a running community around the stores. The sport has given us a lifetime of great memories and now it is time to give back to that sport and pass our love and passion on to others. We want Big River Running Company to be a resource for the St. Louis running and walking community. We want Big River to be a place where people can expect to get great service, great shoes, and great gear but we also want it to be where they come to socialize, to train, and to learn more about this wonderful sport.
- Matt Helbig, owner and founder, and the Big River Family