Decades as an athlete in a particular sport will give a person great insight into what features are desired and needed for the gear in that sport. Running your first marathon in the 6th grade, becoming a collegiate track and cross-country runner, spending 35+ years racing bikes and triathlons, running Boston Marathons, chasing sub-9:30 Ironmans… it all provides valuable insight.
Reăl's founder, Chance Regina, started running in 4th grade and ran two marathons, 4:06 and 3:25, before finishing 8th grade. His first bike race came in 1987, followed a year later by the first triathlon. The University of Mississippi was where he lettered in cross-country and track and field. If it has two wheels and pedals, he has raced it. Running, cycling, and triathlon continue to define his way of life. Through all of these experiences, he has trained and raced in dozens of apparel brands, learning what works for grueling training and what is needed to race at the front.
Numerous companies have been started by an athlete with “insight” into products needed for endurance sports. What many of those athlete-backed brands are missing is the acumen built over a 30-year career working in the endurance industry.
This is where Reăl separates from the pack.
“Endurance athletes aren’t like typical retail customers,” Regina says. “They are very particular, know what they want, and don’t like to settle for second-best. It’s a racer’s mindset.”
Knowing this, Reăl was created by marrying 30-plus years of our founder’s on-course athlete insights with his business “how to” for delivering the best products.
It starts with you, the customer. Our founder began his endurance industry career working the retail floor, focused on customer service and sales. There, he was able to listen to the everyday athlete, age groupers, weekend warriors and learn their wants and needs.
As a marketing director, he worked closely with professional athletes, race promoters, team owners, tradeshows, photographers, magazines and websites. As a product manager for global brands, he gained a deep understanding of factories, raw materials sourcing, costing, design, and production timelines. Figuring out how to deliver to the athletes exactly what they desire and need were skills honed as a brand manager and distributor.
In 2009, Chance was introduced to a high-end Danish apparel brand. He was immediately blown away by the materials, fit, and craftsmanship. The brand focused on cycling, running, and triathlon apparel sourced exclusively from Europe and hand sewn in European factories. In 2012, Chance became the company’s sole distributor in the Americas. Immediately, athletes realized the brand was as good or better than any apparel they had experienced and fell in love with the finish and functionality of the products. But why? What was the difference?
The raw materials -- sourced from smaller mills in Europe not Asia -- was one of the biggest differences. These mills had an eye toward sustainability and premium performance, not just profitability. The garments were also sewn by hand in a factory directly overseen by the owners. Production batches were smaller and thus quality, not quantity, was the focus.
As good as the brand’s apparel is, being a Scandinavian company, there was often a slight disconnect with the unique needs of our customers, where training conditions vary widely from the heat of the Arizona desert to the mountains of Vermont and everywhere in between.
This is where Reăl was born.
Backed by knowledge gained through decades of training and racing, combined with 30-plus years of endurance industry business experience, Reăl garments are constructed with high-quality materials sourced from the same European mills. However, every Reăl product is hand-sewn in a small, family-owned Georgia factory. All production is closely overseen by the factory owner – and made to the exacting standards of Reăl -- to ensure the needs of our customers are met.
Reăl is made for you. The early-morning riser. The runner who doesn’t let foul weather alter the day’s workout. The cyclist not afraid to put a nose into the wind. The triathlete who embraces the demanding training volume. After all, you know the only way to reach the podium is to put in the work. You expect the best out of yourself and your gear.
Join us…At The Front.