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Waltham’s Marathon Sports is being acquired, while keeping its name and locations

A Marathon Sports store in Brookline in 2020.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Waltham-based running retailer Marathon Sports will be acquired by Fleet Feet in a deal expected to close next month, Fleet Feet announced Thursday.

The transaction includes Marathon Sports brands soundRUNNER and Runner’s Alley, as well as the retailer’s robust e-commerce business. It will coincide with the retirement of Marathon Sports owners Colin and Penny Peddie, who have operated the business since 1992. Financial details were not disclosed.

“When presented with an opportunity to become a part of this iconic running brand and retailer, we knew we wanted to be involved,” Joey Pointer, CEO and president of Fleet Feet, said in a statement. “This investment is a new step for Fleet Feet, with the goal of preserving the legacy and identity of the Marathon Sports brand in New England.”


Under the deal, Marathon Sports will “remain a wholly-owned subsidiary and continue operating as a separate entity,” the statement said.

The retailer’s leadership and Waltham headquarters will also remain unchanged, and the Marathon Sports name will continue to be used at all of its 11 stores throughout Massachusetts. Pointer is confident in a “seamless transition” during the acquisition period, the statement read.

Ben Cooke, Fleet Feet’s vice president of business development and flagship retail, will succeed Peddie as president of Marathon Sports.

“I know both Ben and Fleet Feet will honor the tradition of Marathon Sports, continue to support the communities where our stores are located, and leverage the strong team and culture we have developed in our organization,” Peddie said in a statement.

Since its founding in a Cambridge apartment in 1975, Marathon Sports has become a hub for runners throughout New England, largely under Peddie’s leadership. The retailer purchased Connecticut-based running business soundRUNNER in 2013 and New Hampshire-based retailer Runner’s Alley in 2015.

Located in North Carolina, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally-owned running stores, with over 250 locations in 40 states. Late last year, Fleet Feet acquired JackRabbit, the country’s second-largest running specialty retailer.


Annie Probert can be reached at annie.probert@globe.com.