Running clubs, the IndieWeb of the dating realm?

23 May 2024

Konrad Marshall, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald:

Run South Yarra co-founder Tom Adair is wary of any suggestion that run clubs are the new Tinder, yet relationships are born here, and side-by-side chats while jogging, he notes, are definitely less pressurised than face-to-face interactions. (Plus, you can always pick up the pace and scoot away if a chat isn’t going well.) “It’s almost like a nightclub, but no one’s drunk, and you’re actually making meaningful conversation,” Adair concedes.

If you can stomach the unearthly start times, six o’clock in the morning, maybe earlier, weekends included, it all makes sense. You’re sharing a bonding experience with likeminded people. How could run clubs not be somewhere you’d potentially meet a romantic prospect? Aside from the fact you’re there to run of course, not anything else.

But here’s a thought. Granted, one that could probably only occur to me. If there is a movement online, a turning away from social media, a return to the small web, and personal websites, might the rising popularity of run clubs represent a similar movement away from dating apps?

Imagine meeting, then building rapport with someone — maybe in time, more — in a safe group setting, while partaking of a shared interest, such as running? Though it could be something else. Who needs a meddlesome, intrusive, dating app, for that?


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