Often Running, Normal provides students a personalized retail experience

Vitesse Cycle employee, Josh Favus, organizing the bike display for the huge sale.

Vitesse Cycle employee, Josh Favus, organizing the bike display for the huge sale.

If you enjoy running, want to start running, or simply need to stock up on some active wear, Often Running has what you need.

Located at 206 S. Linden, right next to Budget Liquors, Often Running is a small shop with a big following. They are the oldest running shop in the Bloomington-Normal area, celebrating their 20-year anniversary next May.

The store has everything from running and walking shoes, to CrossFit active wear, equipment and more to help you get the most of your exercise. They are also connected to the Vitesse bike store, whom they work closely with. Vitesse has a large variety of bikes and custom bikes to choose from.

What makes Often Running so unique from your usual athletic stores is the custom feel that Often Running gives their consumers. Each employee goes through a significant amount of training before they are able to work with customers, and the training continues throughout their employment.

The employees are up-to-date on the latest models, brands and styles. They are so knowledgeable, in fact, that they can look at your shoes and know what brand and style they are on the spot.

“It’s all about the individual fit, the right product for who you are,” manager, Mitchell Hobbs said.

Hobbs has been with Often Running since it first opened 20 years ago, and has watched the store grow and progress, as well as leave lasting impressions on their customers.

“I like seeing people out and about and people coming in and telling the store about their experience and how their product helped them. And having kids and parents come up to me in town,” Hobbs said.

Right now the store has a major tent sale going on, which they normally do twice a year. They have great deals and Hobbs said they try their best to work with people’s budgets. The sale went on all of this past weekend, but will likely carry over into the upcoming Labor Day weekend as well.

With this year’s large incoming class, as well as a major societal push for health and exercise, the store has been seeing a noticeable increase in their student following. The store has always been available to students, but is mostly geared toward Bloomington Normal residents, so the store is thrilled to see a growing student interest.

“We did an informal survey and a lot of students are runners and are doing what they want to do,” Hobbs said.

Often Running goes beyond the usual employee services and will spend the time to help you find what products are right for you. They take into consideration how you walk, your measurements, the products purpose and how the product will benefit you. They do custom orders for shoes and bikes, and everyone walks out with a product that works specifically for them.

If you want to learn more about Often Running you can check out their website at or their Facebook page for more information, upcoming sales and new products available.

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