The name has changed and the owners are different, but you can still buy running gear in the space once occupied by RunTex in northwest Austin.
Ready To Run opened two weeks ago with a wall full of colorful running shoes, racks of shorts and technical shirts, and accessories like fuel belts and water bottles at 3616 Far West Boulevard.
Ryan Hess, who worked at the now-defunct RunTex downtown for seven years, teamed with Lockhart High School cross country and track coach Scott Hippensteel and his wife Karla to open the new shop.
RunTex operated a store out of the Far West space for about two years. The downtown location of RunTex closed in April after owner Paul Carrozza was evicted for not paying rent. The Far West Boulevard location of RunTex shut down soon after.
At the time, Carrozza blamed the store’s closure on a failed expansion attempt.
Ready To Run is already open, but will celebrate its grand opening Nov. 2-3. Hess signed a five-year lease at the location.
"We’re committed," he said Tuesday.
The store carries Asics, Mizuno, Brooks, Pearl Izumi brand shoes, and plans to add Saucony and New Balance products to the lineup by early next year. "We’re local. If you live in the neighborhood, you don’t have to fight traffic to get here," Hess said.
He wants to build a community around the store. A running group already meets at the shop at 5:45 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and customers who donate an old pair of running shoes to Mobile Loaves and Fishes will get $5 off their purchase.
As for Hess, 27, you might know him from local races. He ran at Round Rock High School, then at Adams State University in Colorado. Today he runs with Gilbert’s Gazelles. He’s currently training for the Austin Half Marathon.
"I’m very excited to own my own business and really have full control over inventory decisions and day to day operations," he said.