Racing company opens its first outlet in Costa Mesa

It’s a big weekend for outdoor events in Southern California. Orange County Marathon runners hit the pavement Sunday morning. Ragnar Road, a 200-mile team hike from San Diego to Huntington Beach, began Friday.

“We’re having a crazy weekend,” said United Sports Brands marketing manager Marissa Buyck. “I hope it will be this big influx of runners and people who live outside.”

Racers have a new option at Costa Mesa.

Nathan Sportsa running apparel and accessories company acquired by United Sports Brand in 2015, opened its premier retail location on 17th Street in Costa Mesa Friday.

The company, which started in 1972, is best known for its hydration packs and vests. But he launched a clothing line last spring, which meant a retail location made sense.

Nathan Sports is known for its hydration packs.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

The location is in the heart of Orange County, as well as close to the United Sports Brands headquarters in Fountain Valley.

“Now we’re kind of a global boutique for runners, sportswear, outdoor exploration,” Buyck said. “We thought, ‘We’ve learned so much about what it takes to equip people who are outdoors and training for a long time. So we got into clothes…and we wanted people to try them on. We want people to be able to feel the material, hold it, make sure the fit is snug. While we know online shopping is hugely popular and people love the accessibility of it, there’s something about seeing just how it goes, especially when you’re shopping for a great pair of performance apparel.

Nathan Sports hopes to partner with a gym in its place, as well as local running clubs, Buyck said. Clubs could start and end their weekly runs at the store, with samples, demonstrations and merchandise discounts waiting for runners as they covered the distance.

“Rather than trying to take over the community, we try to blend in with it,” she said.

Nathan Sports men's activewear and hydration bottles with racks.

Nathan Sports men’s activewear and hydration bottles with racks.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

United Sports Brands President and CEO Michael Magerman visited the Costa Mesa store on Wednesday morning and said he liked what he saw.

The store offers hydration packs and vests, but is primarily a showcase for the clothing line. Many pieces are designed to be worn before or after – not just during – a run.

“There are about 50 million runners in the United States, and a lot of them do other things too,” Magerman said.

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