Running Guy arose from a chance discussion between two running friends during a parkrun in Wiltshire. While running around, pondering the nature and meaning of things – as we runners so often do – the question was asked ‘why is so much running wear so boring?’. As far as the eye could see, the running tops in front were all grey, black and blue, and all looked – well – the same. Mountain biking has ‘Fox’, surfing has ‘Saltrock’, sailing has ‘Fat Face’, and running has……..hmmm…
Speaking to many of our running friends, it became apparent that the running market seemed to be very well served by companies who had invested in developing technical materials, and that the resulting products which came to market performed well, yet for some reason seemed devoid of character.
So this group of friends wondered who Running Guy was, sketched him out, and the little chap was born.
It was a good start. Running Guy was a rethink from the status quo, and so, logically should be the running wear he would grace. The team set about trying to define what made good running wear, and quickly realised that replicating what the big brands were offering was a mistake; the best clothing would surely be that which worked for an individual.
Everyone who runs is Running Guy, and every one of us is unique. But we did have the advantage of knowing this about you: you are Brits and you run in different ways, for different reasons, at different paces and of course in a notoriously unpredictable climate. Three runners meet ready to go for a social run; one is wearing a baggy short sleeve shirt, one has a long sleeve tee, and the third is sporting his favourite compression top. And we were convinced that no marketing department based in Japan had realised that no-one over here gave a stuff about that season’s collection. What each of those three runners actually wanted was to be able to identify what would suit their personal preferences.
We had another benefit. We aren’t a marketing department, we’re just people who just love to run. And more than that; we weren’t interested in going to the gym or cross training – we were just runners. So we had a clear focus; running. What we would produce would be best running gear that money could buy – and we could leave the mass market appeal and homogenisation of product to those companies whose overhead structures needed that wide appeal. If we could produce wear that we’d use ourselves, then we were convinced that there’d be others like us, and maybe, just maybe a sustainable business model.