Roanoke, Virginia is no easy place to run. Home of cold winters, steep climbs, and “America’s Toughest Road Marathon,” – the Blue Ridge Marathon – this little mountain city has always had a fragmented population of folks who want to get out and be active despite the conditions. But these runners and fitness enthusiasts have not always had a centralized community that aimed to be a resource and a guide.
In March of 2003, Blaine and Robin Lewis moved their family to the mountains and opened Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke, setting out to bring these fragmented pockets of runners together and turn them into a thriving running community. Since that first day, Blaine and Robin have made it their mission to create a community-first atmosphere in which folks of any fitness level can feel welcome, motivated, and empowered to improve their quality of life through an active lifestyle.
“We are here to serve you,” Blaine said. “We are inclusive. You don't have to be thin or fast. We are here for you regardless of your fitness level. We are knowledgeable and want you to be success at what you want to do and will do all we can to help you accomplish your goals.”
Fleet Feet was the first running store to serve the community of Roanoke, and since its first days in operation fifteen years ago, Blaine and Robin have focused on just that – service. Inside the store, they give each customer their full and undivided attention in order to provide the best solutions possible for each customer’s fitness goals. When a customer walks in the door, they become a part of the Fleet Feet Roanoke family. As the store has grown, so has the community of Roanoke – an expansion of the greenway system and trails allowed them to add accessible and safe running and walking programs to better serve runners at all levels of fitness.
But Blaine and Robin don’t stop with folks that come to them – they spend much of their time going out into community to give back. They host races to fundraise for the Boys and Girls Club; they donate shoes to the Bradley Free Clinic, a health care clinic for the working poor; they partner with the Roanoke Police Department to offer women’s safety clinics; and they offer numerous other regular in-store events focused on fundraising and giving back. The Lewis’s and their staff are humble, they are kind, and their favorite part about this business is the opportunity to help someone grow every single day.
“We are very honored, humbled and thankful that people choose to shop in our store,” said Blaine. “Today that are so many shopping options, from online, big box. etc. We feel very fortunate when someone wants to shop, spend their money, and support our locally owned business.”