At Fleet Feet Bloomington, we hope to become more than just a store where you shop. We want to become a place you visit often because you feel comfortable. We want to be a resource for all your running, walking and general fitness needs. We want to be a place that inspires. And we want to be your friend. We are lucky to have a team that is diverse, motivated, and knowledgeable. Each employee brings a unique perspective and set of experiences to our store. Please see our photos and read our bios and get to know us a little better.
Julie Howell’s Fleet Feet journey began in August 2012. While driving home from an out-of-state triathlon, she began to entertain the possibility of opening a retail store. Having been active in the local running and triathlon community and mentoring many new athletes over the years, it seemed like the perfect fit. She believed that her desire to provide the tools and education to help people begin running and her enjoyment in seeing them accomplish their goals closely resembled the vision of a Fleet Feet franchise.
A former high school Spanish teacher, Julie has been running and racing for over 25 years. She joined the cross country team in high school and when she started could barely run one mile. Through training and perseverance, she’s grown into a regular at races of all distances, and has qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon twice. Her favorite race distance is the marathon: in June 2017 she completed her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states and completed her 100th marathon in October 2019. Her current goal is to run a marathon on every continent and complete the World Marathon Majors. She also competes in triathlons and has finished seven Ironman races. Julie enjoys educating new runners on every aspect of the sport and loves when they share their tales of accomplishment.
The initial thought back in August 2012 led to a whirlwind of activity. By the following November she was selected as a store owner. Multiple trips to the Fleet Feet, Inc. headquarters in Carrboro, NC to meet with corporate executives and complete store training followed. The store opened in May 2013. Julie is proud to have brought the first downstate Illinois Fleet Feet store to the Bloomington-Normal area and is excited to share her passion for an active lifestyle with the community.
Store Operations Manager & Outfitter
Kelly has been with us since we opened in May of 2013. With more than 30 years of experience in retail and a passion for an active, healthy lifestyle he loves helping other meet their needs. Kelly is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and enjoys working with and watching others transform their lives. Kelly believes that working at Fleet Feet allows him to share his passion for fitness with other people. He is an avid runner and has completed many races at distances from the 5K to the full marathon. Outside of running he enjoys biking and hiking. Kelly lives in Normal with his wife, Corinna, and their 3 children, Kelsie, Keegan and Kyleigh.
Training Program Coordinator
Julie joined the Fleet Feet family as our Training Program Coordinator in the winter of 2019. She is an RRCA Level 1 Certified Run Coach. She first became part of Fleet Feet in 2015 starting out as a participant in the 10k program. She then continued her running journey in the Fall Fitnatics, Winter Warriors and the women's triathlon group as well as mentoring many programs since. Julie continues to push her running and tri goals, having completed her first Half Ironman distance race in 2019 with her eyes on completing a full Ironman in 2021.
Bree has been working at Fleet Feet since September 2020 and has been in the shoe industry for over three years. Although she isn't a runner, she has a passion for helping customers find good shoes for their lifestyle. When Bree isn't working she is going to school at Heartland Community College and studying business. She is also passionate about music, animals, and hiking. Her favorite spot around Bloomington is Moraine State View. She has two pets, a cat and a hamster and loves them both very much.
Emily discovered a passion for running during the pandemic and spent so much time shopping at Fleet Feet it made sense to work there, too! Fleet Feet is Emily's side hustle-- she has a Master's Degree in Special Education and has been teaching for the past 13 years. Emily loves racing half marathons and has her sights set on her first full. She is also a triathlete and a 2nd degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She has been playing piano for more than 30 years and accompanies her high school's choir, musical and madrigal. Emily and her husband also farm and have a 20 year old daughter and and 16 year old son.
Tim joined the Fleet Feet Team in July 2021 and has been a lifelong runner. He retired after 35 years of working in education as a teacher, coach and administrator. Tim is excited to join the Fleet Feet Team and is passionate about working with people of all ages and assisting them with their goals. He enjoys training alongside his wife for races from 5K to 1/2 marathons as well as biking and kayaking. Tim lives in Fairbury with his wife Jackie and has two grown children, Meghan and Matthew.
It is with profound sadness that we share the news that Tim passed away unexpectedly on November 4, 2022. Tim was a devoted husband, father and friend and we will miss his smile and the wonderful energy he brought to our store. Click here to read more about Tim.
Bri is currently a freshman at Illinois State University pursuing a career as a Special Education teacher. She ran track and cross country for the Ironmen and has been running for seven years. Besides working at Fleet Feet she spends a lot of time babysitting kids of many ages. Other than running Bri loves music, being outside, and spending time with her friends and family. She loves caring for others and helping people be as successful as they can.
Kaitlin joined the team in April 2022 and she loves being a small part in helping others reach their goals. She grew up in Bloomington and attended Bloomington HS. She currently attends Illinois State University and is studying Exercise Science. She is also a member of the Redbird cross country and track teams. In her free time she enjoys going on bike rides, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Photo coming soon!
Alli grew up in Tuscola, IL and attended Heartland Community College. She played soccer for the Hawks in 2015 and 2017 while she completed an Emergency Medical Technician license and a degree in Biology. During this time she also worked for Fleet Feet Bloomington before she transferred to Lindenwood - Belleville University. At LUB, she continued to play soccer and joined the softball team before she graduated with her degree in Exercise Science and interned with Illinois Strength where she trained Olympic sport athletes in strength and conditioning endeavors.
In 2022, Alli graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and specialization in Sport Performance. She then interned with the football program at Illinois State Sport Performance before she returned to HCC as a men’s and women’s Assistant Soccer and Sport Performance Coach.
Alex joined the Fleet Feet team in June 2022. Alex grew up in Normal, Illinois and attended Normal West High School, graduating in 2020. Currently, Alex attends Illinois Wesleyan University where he studies marketing and plays baseball. When not playing baseball or working at Fleet Feet Alex enjoys fishing, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.
Photo coming soon!
Hi, my name is Abigail. I grew up in central Illinois and attended Tri-Valley high school where I ran track and cross-country. I then completed my undergraduate degree at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan where I was a member of the varsity women’s cross country and track teams. After graduating college I spent a year coaching DI women’s triathlon at Wagner College where I learned a lot more about athletics and the coaching aspect of sports. I’m happy to be home for the year and working at Fleet Feet where I get to pursue my passions in the athletic/running industry!
Claire joined Fleet Feet Bloomington in August 2022, but has two years of previous fitting experience. She learned the joy of helping people find the right shoes while working at a running specialty store in her hometown of Kansas City. Claire is a senior chemistry major at Illinois State and is a member of the Redbird cross country and track teams. When she's not running, studying, or working, Claire loves to cook, hammock, and disc golf.