This Is How One Crew Runs the Night

London's Midnight Runners Club
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It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.

That’s the mantra that Under Armour athletes and runners across our communities have embraced to shine the spotlight on their training and forego the kind of distractions that could take the focus off of their workout.

But, what does it really mean to go dark?  For these athletes, going dark is about skipping that Friday party, missing out on a chance to hang out with friends, pushing themselves to their limits, and making sacrifices in pursuit of those moment of glory.

Still, going dark doesn’t mean that your training looses the spotlight. In fact, for some, embracing the dark and the challenge it brings is where the fun begins. That is the philosophy behind the London Midnight Runners. This fearless group of runners has decided to, come sundown, take over the streets of London and run the night. 

It started in 2015 as a labor of love (of running) co-founded by Christian Dorffer and Greg Drach. Though this group started as a casual meet up, it has evolved into a crew of runners and crew captains who make it a point to rule the city and the night. They meet up behind London Eye every Tuesday evening at 8pm and prepare this full fitness experience, which is not only about running, but about challenging themselves during exercise stops at every 2 km aimed at making them better runners and having more fun while they’re at it.

Each stop is filled with loud, energizing music from the carefully selected playlists created by the organizers to match the group’s energy levels. And in the true spirit of no man (or woman) left behind on their 10 and 30 km runs, there are crew captains catering to different pace groups. Music, fitness, and fun…what’s not to love?

Fitness. By Midnight Runners.Check out our new video from the September Midnight Run. It shows what our events are all about: community, fun, loud music, cheers & excitement and of course – running and a good workout. Join us! Subscribe to our events page to see what we are up to: https://www.facebook.com/londonmidnightrunners/eventsP.S. Thank you Tom for the edit! (@tom__pointer)

Posted by London Midnight Runners on Thursday, October 22, 2015

 

We caught up with Christian to shine some light on how these runners have gone dark while taking to the streets of London. Here’s the recap of our interview.

Are any of your members tracking their runs with Endomondo?

For sure! Many of our members track their workouts with their favorite fitness apps and we’re seeing that it’s really great for keeping up with each other’s activities. Our more experienced runners all have personal goals they strive to achieve and use our runs as an important contribution to their fitness program.

What’s the motivation behind Midnight Runners?

Our motto is “to challenge yourself and make exercise more fun”.

You seem like a really tight-knit group. Is there a certain type of personality that is drawn to running with this crew?

The majority of the group is made up by young, fun-loving, career-minded professionals from around the world who thrive on physically challenging themselves. We’re a really inclusive running crew and that’s what makes it easy for everyone to feel right at home.

What is the reaction of the people on the streets when they hear you all coming?

It’s pretty awesome. We get high fives and honking horns every time we run (even from the police!). Actually, many of our crew members discovered us while watching the group run by. It’s hard not to notice us, since each one of our crew captains runs with a speaker blasting our favorite running playlists. We do get the occasional raised eyebrow from non-runners and people who are not fans of loud music in the park, but overall, it’s a really positive response.

Aside from London, which city in the world would you most like to run in?

We’ve actually already done some really great midnight runs in different cities worldwide, including Sydney and Barcelona. The reception has been incredible. Earlier this month, we hosted a pop-up midnight run in Barcelona, which was attended by over 3,000 runners! We are definitely looking to branch out to other great cities in the future, so be on the lookout for us.

Do you have any tips for people who want to run at night (besides tracking it with your favorite running app)?

For night running, I follow three basic rules:
Rule 1: Don’t run alone – it’s more fun and safer to run in a group.
Rule 2: Pick well-lit routes – find good routes that are illuminated. One of my personal favorites is from London Eye to Tower Bridge and back. Aside from the lightning, it has wide tunnels (which mean no stopping) and it’s beautiful to boot.
Rule 3: Stay very visible – wear reflective gear to make sure that you can be seen.

Are the runs open to anyone in the area to join? If so, where do I sign up?

The runs are free and open to anyone who wants to join. All you need to do is register for an event on our Facebook page, so we’d love to see you there! With over 100 runners at every event, and 20 or 30 of them being first-timers, you’ll fit right in.

Recently, many Under Armour athletes and community members have “Gone Dark” by taking a break from posting on social to focus on their behind-the-scenes training and come back strong. You’ve been a part of the “Gone Dark” movement – what are your thoughts on it?

Although we tend to capture all our night runs with our own cameras and with our crew photographer, we still thought it was an interesting concept to actually “go dark” by not sharing what we were capturing. It definitely sparked some curiosity, and we were really looking forward to seeing how fans on social would react to the story when we came back into the light. Under Armour’s values of working hard to have your results shine is something that really resonated with our crew.

Stay tuned for a busy year with lots of fun and challenging free fitness events by the London Midnight Runners. Who knows where this awesome crew will pop up next?

Free your endorphins!
The Endomondo Team

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