Tinder and running app Runna team up to create SoleMates Run Club, bringing together fitness and social connections for Londoners.

Three running get-togethers are taking place in central London on three Wednesday evenings (starting 12 June). This may not sound like groundbreaking news to the average Men’s Fitness reader who already regularly lace up their best running shoes as a matter of routine. But there is something unique about these events: they’re the result of a collaboration between Tinder and running app Runna. And no, Tinder plus Runna does not equal speed dating. They call it, appropriately enough, SoleMates Run Club.

There has been a bit of a countermovement in recent times, away from dating apps towards ‘real-life’ liaisons – especially among millennials. Responding to the growing popularity of activity-based dating, and with ‘running’ trending as one of the top tagged interests in Tinder profiles, the dating app has teamed up with Runna to come up with an innovative approach that exploits the best of both apps. 

London Tinder users will be the first to know, with the SoleMates Run Clubs promoted within the app via a ‘Swipe Card’ that links to the booking facility. The events are suitable for anyone from novice to experienced runners, so everyone is welcome.

Runna and Tinder have teamed up for SoleMates Run Club

SoleMates keeps things slow and steady

We think this is a healthy partnership in more ways than one. Not just for the opportunities it provides to run, nor in the obvious business sense of the word – but in how it serves to bring together people with a shared interest. Each meet-up will consist of a 5k run led by Runna, but kept at a casual pace so that attendees can meet new, like-minded people, or take things forward with an established Tinder match.

This will allow everyone involved to literally take things in their stride. Those meeting a match from Tinder will have the head start of having formed favourable first impressions; while others can take things more casually simply by being there in the mix of people and seeing who they meet. It won’t be like meeting in a bar, and the ice will have already been broken. 

While dating apps have become normalised across the age spectrum, some people are more suited to their format than others. How people correspond before meeting can lead to false impressions and disappointment in the flesh. These events are a great way for people to put themselves out there, state what they are about, and attract attention without the pressure of a first time face-to-face across a table somewhere. For many people this can be uncomfortable, which in turn makes it difficult for them to be their natural selves. 

There’s something hugely refreshing about this. And ironically the pace of jogging along will have the effect of slowing down the chat with a running mate – a far cry from speed dating. Anyone who would normally feel nervous or self-conscious at first sight will surely benefit from these dynamics.

Our feeling is that this new partnership between apps will lead to others between participants. And those for whom it doesn’t will at least have had a good run for their money – actually the events are completely free. To get involved, runners looking for a SoleMate can book onto the first SoleMates Run Club session here.