Mark Pinson and his wife, Valerie, have always had a passion for being involved with pastimes that keep them active. Valerie has been a runner for years and Mark has always been engaged with sports, like BMX and baseball. Valerie and Mark recognized that the city needed a place where everyone could come together, talk, and organize fitness; a hub where like-minded people could get together to discuss running, biking, and swimming and do it as a group. “She wanted a shoe store, and I wanted a bike shop,” Mark reveals about the origins of their store, Endurance House.
Valerie’s a runner and has been her whole life. She recognized that Wichita Falls didn’t have a specialty running store. With Endurance, they are able to put you on a treadmill and monitor your running in order to get you a shoe that best fits you and your feet. Mark has ridden on the BMX tracks for his entire life and their combined passions led them to this.
The store opened its doors October of 2015 and has since been a hub for athleticism in Wichita Falls. The fame of the store quickly rose with their work with the Runners Club. Participants would come into the store weekly for runs and as they shopped for shoes, they were enticed by the store’s selection of bicycles. Bicycles led to interest in swimming, and swimming into triathlons.
They began hosting open water swims earlier this summer, and once a month they put buoys out at Lake Arrowhead. This, along with peoples’ new passion to run and bike, has started the desire for triathlons. “Since we’ve opened the store, I’ll bet we’ve added 50 or 60 new triathletes,” Mark informed. They also had a spring triathlon at Castaway Cove. The swim began at the Lazy River, followed by a 12 mile bike ride, and then, a 5K run. Their ultimate goal is to get the sport into Lake Wichita. On top of that, they also encourage running with the “Couch to 5K” program, which prepares runners to meet the goal of running 5K without stopping.
The Pinson family continues to stay fit together. Mark and Valerie took up triathlons when the center opened, and they now compete three or four times a year. Plus, this year you can catch the entire family, which includes their twin boys (11 years old), barreling through the 25K at this year’s Hotter ‘n Hell 100. It’ll be a busy day for them because they will also have a booth for Endurance House at this year’s Expo. So go check them out there, or at their storefront location at 5007 Taft Blvd in Wichita Falls.