Strengthening Our Team: Meet Brad Popple

Meet Brad Popple. He’s the new Assistant Store Manager, Store Trainer and FIT Professional at Fleet Feet Sports, and we are pumped to have him. Brad’s usually the first team member to greet you as you walk through the door as he hollers “how ya doing?”

He hails from Charlotte, North Carolina where he spent his time smashing personal records, singing and playing the guitar in a few different bands and racking up six years of run specialty experience.

Brad is also a sponsored runner and former High School State Champion in the 2-Mile, High School State runner up in High School Cross Country, Collegiate South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year, All Conference, and All Region. He’s also recently graced the front cover of the Feetures! Catalog, but don’t expect to hear about it from him …Brad’s a pretty humble guy. He’s also a pretty smooth dancer … which he may casually bring up in conversation.  

Brad now lives in Dormont with his wife Taisha—also a former singer, but in a different band—and their son Winston, a 125 lb. black lab.

Take a minute to learn more about our new assistant store manager, and don’t hesitate to stop in at Fleet Feet Sports and “nerd out,” over the next big race in town or our latest shoe updates … because Brad will be eager to talk about it too.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What schools did you attend? I grew up right outside of Charlotte NC. I attended East Lincoln High School and later Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory NC, where I majored in Elementary Education.

When did you start working in run specialty? I have been in run specialty for six years. I previously worked as a Pre K teacher and after-school coordinator.

When you’re not working or training, what do you like to do? I am a huge music nut. I’ve been in and out of bands for years. I also enjoy poetry and writing music with my beautiful wife.

What’s your favorite movie? Nacho Libre. It's the greatest movie ever made, right?!

What’s your favorite TV show? Chances are if you come by my house at any given time The Office will be playing on my TV.

What’s your favorite band? Tough question, but I would have to say Philadelphia's Mewithoutyou

What’s your favorite book? Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Any pets? Not really a pet, but more of a third member of the family. Winston the dog is a 125 lb. black lab that enjoys camping and has a severe addiction to anything edible.

What’s your favorite shoe? I am a huge fan of the Adidas Boston Boost. It’s light, fast, but can take the pounding mile after mile.

What’s your favorite food? I love a good veggie burger. I have yet to find a great option in PGH … someone help?!

What’s something cool or interesting you’ve found out about Pittsburgh since you’ve moved to town? Turns out I live extremely close to the steepest paved street in the world (Canton Avenue). This has made for some fun/painful hill workouts.

What are you most excited about to do in Pittsburgh? I am thrilled to be in such a passionate city. Pittsburgh is beaming with culture in just about any area of recreation; be it football, art, music, and the running community is nothing short of top notch. At my first community event—The Holiday Lights Run—there were over 400 people out to support the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund!

When you’re not at Fleet Feet Sports, where’s a place in the city we might run into you? You will typically see me running down Washington Road or find me at one of the spectacular locally owned coffee shops in town.

Can you remember the first time you realized running would be a lifelong passion of yours? While in High School, I helped with coaching duties, writing training plans, working on teammates form, etc. Being a part of someone’s fitness evolution was extraordinary. Watching someone set goals and guiding them through the acquisition of those goals was amazing. Distilling the passion I have for running into others is what has and always will be at the heart of what I do.

How is the running community in Charlotte versus the running community in Pittsburgh different? How are they the similar? Charlotte has an enormous running community. With that being said, it is very fractured. There are small pockets of groups here and there, where as in Pittsburgh it seems much more cohesive, one big family, everyone seems to know everyone.

Can you describe the most rewarding moment of your running career? My most rewarding moment running would have to be being apart the winning 200 mile Blue Ridge Relay team in 2014. With my 11 teammates and training partners we were able to win in an extremely competitive field and set a new course record. There’s nothing like seeing hard work pay off not just for you but for your closest friends as well.

Out of all the places you could have gone, why did you choose Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh? Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh has a resounding reputation in the running community as THE premier running store. Of the countless stores I have visited across the country, I have yet to find a store that is so community oriented and prides its self on being nothing short of excellent.

What would you like to say to the Pittsburgh running community? Come nerd out with me on any and all things running! I love to hear about your favorite races, running routes, gear, and training. Come in the store or let’s go for a run. I want to get to know each of you!

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