Druley: ‘Running boom’ fuels growth of St. Charles store

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 5:32 a.m. CDT

Dick Pond Athletics-St. Charles manager Glen Kamps holds his running specialty store in high esteem.

“We’re a little more than a store,” Kamps said. “We’re a place where people come to change their lives.”

All the better, then, that the location at 303 N. 2nd St. is expanding. Ongoing construction due for completion in May will see the facility more than double in size, going from 1,400 to 2,960 square feet.

The St. Charles location – shuffle-jogging ever closer to the 10th anniversary of its opening in May – remains open through construction. Kamps said the store growth doesn’t so much accommodate an influx of inventory as it creates more room for patrons to peruse and visit.

Saluting the regional running community is a chief reason behind the store addition.

“It’s the running boom that’s with us right now and so many people finding that it’s a great way to lose weight,” Kamps said. “There’s nothing like moving your body mass across the planet that really burns the calories to lose the weight.”

Kamps and company are especially excited to show off the expansion to one customer in particular.

St. Charles resident Steve Spear, a former pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in West Chicago, is expected to pass through home in July as he runs from Los Angeles to New York in a fundraiser to build a clean water and sanitation system in Kenya.

Spear will average about a marathon – 26.2 miles – per day beginning April 4. Kamps envisions a parking lot filled with lively Dick Pond patrons and supporters whenever Spear stops by.

“We’re just honored that we know him and that he’s doing this and that we’ll be able to say hi and shake his hand and there he goes,” Kamps said. “And then he’ll still have about half his journey to go.”

Considering the company started with its late namesake selling shoes out of his car and Glen Ellyn basement, the thought of six retail outlets – including those in Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Lisle, Park Ridge and Schaumburg – is especially endearing to Kamps, a longtime employee.

The St. Charles store is growing. Kamps hopes folks’ fitness aspirations keep following suit.

• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com.