Picture the scene, a pack of runners traversing the city streets at night, exploring the empty corners of the urban landscape whilst under the influence of the pure endorphin high of running.
This is a scene repeated in almost every city in the world, the run crew culture having grown exponentially over the last decade attracting those who wish to experience running in a new (and did we mention stylish?) way.
The beginnings of the run crew
The origins of the run crew trend is attributed to Mike Saes who created the Bridgerunners in New York City after an impromptu run across Williamsburg Bridge to collect his daughter late at night. Gathering friends to join him, he repeated his midnight run for the rest of that summer. Not long after, East London DJ Charlie Dark changed his nocturnal habits to create the Run Dem Crew, the largest of the UKs run crews which brought together like-minded people, all looking for something different yet within their inner city, social lives.
Whilst running remains the main activity, the attraction to run crews is an altogether different proposition to the traditional running club, their members drawn more from a shared love of street culture than a dedicated training group, intent on competing delivering their members to their next race. Indeed, most crews encourage absolute beginners to join them.
And then, there is the after-party. With the best of the cities nightlife in easy reach at the close of their run, the crew stay together for a social be it a dinner or full evening of partying, sometimes travelling en masse to meet with other international crews, sharing their particular brand of urban influenced style with each other.
Luckily for everyone else, the rise of Instagram occurred in tandem with the global growth of run crews, allowing members to share their uniquely experiential brand of fitness, landscapes and pockets of urban culture they discover with a wider audience. In doing so, the run crew has become a subculture in itself – actual numbers of those regularly run with a crew overwhelmed by those who follow them digitally.
But why not experience for yourself? There are crews to suit all, those with light coaching for newbies, all female groups, street art enthusiasts groups….diversity in interests is celebrated and authentic connections with your fellow crew members and local area the only prerequisite.
Just don’t call them a running club.