Fleet Feet plans Halloween 5K after inventory loss in warehouse fire

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The race must go on. That’s the mindset for Fleet Feet after a warehouse fire destroyed all its inventory. The Rochester-based running company will still host “Pumpkins in the Park” on October 29, but this year might look a little different.

“You know we’re just picking up the pieces, and we have to proceed, so that’s exactly what we’re doing so we’re doing ok, we’re doing ok,” Ellen Brenner said, owner of Fleet Feet.

The company is one of many still recovering from a warehouse blaze that happened just a week ago.

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Brenner walked around the warehouse for the first time since the fire. She says Fleet Feet had one of the largest spaces and saw bits and pieces of her things scattered everywhere. She says they’re excited for Pumpkins in the Park, which will be the first event for the group since the fire.

“I did not expect to see what I saw. There’s a disc cone, there is a lid to one of our areas, there’s a bucket, and some weights that are ours, but interestingly what was left, was volunteer shirts,” Brenner said.

Brenner says it was “surreal” to see pieces of Fleet Feet mixed in with debris from a warehouse fire that rattled the community.

“We lost everything, from finish line structures, to timing mats, to tents, to food, and soda and bottled water.”

But a loss doesn’t mean it’s over. Fleet Feet always has a plan to cross the finish line, the company’s Halloween race is still on.  

“We got a brand new finish line, which will be two tall Frankensteins, and then two big tall black cats for the kids to go through. We’re going to have pumpkins as usual hopefully we can get those from the city and we’re just doing it,” Brenner said with optimism.

The fire comes at a time where Fleet Feet has back to back races, like Dirt Cheap Stage Race in November, and the Eggnog Jog. Ellen says they won’t miss a step.

“We’re going to try and make the same experience for everyone. We still have medals ,the kids are still going to get their goodie bags, so it will still be festive events.”

Brenner says the community support has been overwhelming. She says the best way to support Fleet Feet right now is to go to its races! Pumpkins in the Park is next weekend, you still have time to register. Costumes are encouraged!

You can sign up here.