New Year’s Day is a time for new beginnings, and that can even be the case for businesses.

Galveston’s running store, FitTriRun, changed hands on Jan. 1 to become part of the Powerhouse Fitness enterprise run by Johnny Zepeda. FitTriRun was opened almost 10 years ago by Kim Bachmeier and Steve Witcher.

“We did it against all odds, at a point when there had been a severe economic turndown nationally, and Galveston was just beginning to recover from Hurricane Ike,” Bachmeier recalled. “Everyone was so stressed, and we wanted to be the coffee shop of running stores, a place where everybody was welcome, regardless of whether they were runners, walkers, or non-runners.”

In the past decade, Bachmeier has seen many changes in the running community, as the store worked with local groups to add events to the running calendar. The products carried in the store also changed.

“We have seen humongous changes in shoes, with major improvements across all the brands,” Bachmeier said.

Everything from ultra-padded shoes to “barefoot” thin-soled shoes have had their day, and now multi-function shoes are making a bigger splash.

“A lot of companies are moving toward more of a lifestyle shoe,” Bachmeier said. “You can wear them all day, but you could still run a marathon in them.”

The new ownership won’t result in many visible changes right away.

“The stuff will still be the same. Eric, Lydia and Steve will be there to help the customers, and I’ll still be putting on Ladies Nights and other events for the store,” Bachmeier explained.

The relationships with customers were one of Bachmeier’s favorite parts of store ownership.

“I formed a lot of friendships over the last 10 years,” she said. “Everyone who comes into the shop has a story. Overall, it’s been very rewarding.”

Bachmeier plans to remain active in the running community.

“Selling to Powerhouse is a really good thing, because now I’ll be able to focus on what I’m really good at, instead of inventory management and logistics,” she said. “I can take off some hats, and finally do more with kids’ running programs. I want to get kids running and healthy.”

Bernice Torregrossa: bernice92@aol.com

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