As you visit the biggest city on the Big Island of Hawaii you may notice that we are pretty short on chain stores and restaurants. Most of us like it that way. We have pride in our local shops and I personally try to support them when I can. Which is why when The Big Island Running Company came to our side of the island, many were cheering and welcomed it with open arms. It’s hard to not notice all the runners you see throughout the city wherever you happen to drive. Whether it’s around the circle of the Japanese Gardens or down past the beaches in Keaukaha, it’s evident that this is a town full of runners.
The Big island Running Company store officially opened in Hilo on August 2014 on Hilo’s beautiful Bayfront. It sits well with all of the rest of the local shops and diners. It’s prime location gives its biweekly running group the opportunity to spend most of the time running alongside Hilo bay and through the Japanese gardens, not a route commonly found by most running groups.
Hilo’s BIRC store is proud to boast that they are the only running specialty store on this side of the island. Upon visiting, you won’t be met with your average high school worker, but selective staff that thoroughly knows the sport of running and the product(s).
The store manager, Cary Aurand, has run between 15-25 half marathons as well as 4 marathons. She has been running since high school and transferred from the Kona side after working alongside the main store managers. Her energy and enthusiasm on race day is hard to match.
Dennis Blinn (AKA DJ) is quite the local running celebrity who seems to be known by everyone. It’s hard to run with him and not have him wave at 5-10 different people every time. He’s present at every local race and has an extensive running background which consists of 31 years of running including 113 marathons and ultra-races. You’ll definitely be greeted with a hearty hello and great service any time you walk in.
Alan Ryan is the newest addition to Hilo’s crew. He’s quickly learning the store features but don’t let his strong, silent personality throw you off. The 7 time Boston Marathon runner and Assistant Cross Country coach knows the ins and outs of racing and speed work. His knowledge is a great asset to the store and its future customers.
It’s nice to know you can go somewhere, where there is product knowledge, race education, as well as local race knowledge is evident. The store is a friendly and welcoming environment that caters to the running enthusiast.
BIRC has an array of products that would suit many runners. From running gels, Hydroflasks, to hats and socks. They have attire for both women and men. The Hilo Big Island Running Company has something for everyone and always seems to be getting in new product whether local or brand name.
If it's a new shoe you're looking for, the store has the setup to let you try on a new pair of shoes and test it out. They can also check your running gait, on their treadmill/computer program in the back of the store. This gives you an opportunity to test the shoe out without having to weave in and out of tourists on the sidewalk.
The store has group runs twice a week. We usually run anywhere from 1-5 miles (depending on what you want), has a very easy route, and start/finish at the store. We all have an assortment of paces and there is almost always someone to run alongside with.
Saturday - 6:30am
I’m very excited to have found this store and the people associated with it. Whenever I have errands to run on the Bayfront I wander in, to check out the products, and say hello. The store, and people, benefit the community, promote health and fitness, and offer product once unavailable to the area.
COME RUN WITH US!
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