Every organization needs its clubhouse. Whether a group of kids, a group of veterans, retired folks at the coffee shop, or a needy group of runners, you need a place to call home. For years the Lincoln Running Company (LRC) has been the center of the Lincoln running community. In ways that are easy to measure, and others that we never will know about, LRC has been a driving force for the Lincoln Track Club (LTC) and the City of Lincoln.
A forty-one-year-old downtown fixture, the store was initially opened by Derald and Judy Rogers at 12th and Q Streets in 1976 as an Athlete’s Foot franchise. That same year, the Rogers thought it would be a good move to partner with LTC and sponsor the inaugural Buffalo Run. They also opened at least four additional stores in other Nebraska communities, but only the Lincoln store survives. When Derald became ill with cancer in 1985, Judy became his care provider and son Dave assumed the leadership responsibilities. However, Dave needed help, and in 1986, Ann Ringlein joined the team as store manager. Brief expansion opportunities followed when stores were opened at East Park and SouthPointe. Shortly thereafter, the Athlete’s Foot franchise was dropped and the Lincoln Running Company that we know today was born.
Throughout all this, it is obvious that the LRC presence exhibits itself as an informed source for shoes, apparel, advice, and area race information. With the internet being what it is, you can guarantee that what comes out of Q Street is worth listening to. In addition to information, LRC has served as a social hub. Hosting group runs, seemingly weekly running brand–sponsored events, and even showing movies in the store are a few examples of the role the Lincoln Running Company has assumed in the Lincoln running community. By hosting their Beginner’s Luck series, LRC continues to groom new runners into our community. Of course, we all know Ann Ringlein has been the driving force behind a lot of this for the past thirty-plus years.
Where the track club is concerned, Lincoln Running Company has been the most consistent sponsor of our events. They have done this primarily through awards for overall and age group winners, but also in organizing volunteers and hosting races like the Lincoln Mile and Buffalo Run, which are two of our premiere events, plus the Holiday Run to support the Capital Humane Society.
For all of this and so much more, the Lincoln Track Club is privileged to recognize the Lincoln Running Company—including key team members co-owners Dave Rogers and his son, Chris, plus store manager Ann Ringlein—as a recipient of the 2017 Lincoln Track Club Distinguished Service Award.