Looking to boost your career? Put on your trainers and start jogging! Once considered a mainly solitary pursuit, running in recent years has become far more sociable.
Aided by social media allowing people to connect far more easily, an ever-growing amount of running clubs and events are starting all over the world. As more people travel overseas for business or move abroad, the sport is becoming a popular way for people to make new contacts or even secure a new job.
Renan Keraudran who works in marketing and often travels overseas for work, joins up with local running clubs. “With running, a lot of people think it’s something that’s just about you and yourself, and that’s it, but that’s not actually the case.” Recently he has teamed up with the Canadian Group East Laurier’s running group, “We had a run and a beer together, and they introduced me to some more people. You start talking about running, and then you start talking about business, and of course with some people you even get a true friendship.”
Mr Keraudran was speaking at a dinner organised by the members of Bridge the Gap (BTG), an informal global movement that brings together urban running groups from around the world. Founded in 2011 by New York club NYC Bridge Runners and London’s Run Dem Crew, people who attend BTG events typically work in creative or lifestyle industries, such as music, media, fashion, or sport and fitness.
“It started out as a way to make people that thought running wasn’t cool change their perspective, and get some balance in their lives,” says Cedric Hernandez, co-captain of NYC Bridge Runners. “We didn’t know all this would happen, but we’ve even had marriages through the movement. We’ve had people putting each other up for free in their apartments all over the world, and on the business side we’ve had photographers get signed up, people have gotten digital work or video [commissions], or even jobs with corporate brands as ambassadors, where they get paid to travel to different cities.”
While global estimates of recreational runners are hard to come by, it is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of exercise in many countries.