I love a good run but I hate going alone. I need the motivation of running with someone. Enter JoggingBuddy, a free website that allows members to find other members to go training with.
‘I came up with the concept for JoggingBuddy when I couldn’t sleep and decided to go for a run at 3am,’ says Founder and CEO Tony Piedade. ‘As I was getting ready to go out I was thinking that I would be the only nutter out running! But I was wrong; there were loads of people. It came to me that it would be really cool to unite these runners to keep each other motivated.’
So, that morning Tony started JoggingBuddy. ‘I had no idea whether this would work,’ he admits. ‘I just had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to do this. Within a month the website was live and taking sign-ups!’
The site has now been running for two years and has members in over 66 different countries. ‘I am astonished at the rate of growth we have experienced. And I’m impressed that we’ve got a fairly even gender split on the site, with 57 per cent women and 43 per cent men.’
Carla, 28 from Wimbledon, says the site has enabled her to run throughout the year, because she feels more confident running with someone else. ‘As we get towards winter its always nicer to run with someone else. Within a few weeks of joining the site I’d found a few ladies to run with and we’ve kept our training going ever since. I also like the website’s One Million Mile challenge which makes me want to log the runs that I do.’
It also suits people who might not be used to running and need some encouragement. ‘I joined last year when my wife was expecting our first child,’ says Imran, 34, from Maida Vale. ‘I have never been a big runner, but wanted to get fit and be able to run around with my child in years to come. It was great to see that I wasn’t alone – there were lots of people on the site and in my area too.’
Tony is now working on improving and updating the site’s user interface, but he still intends for the site to remain a free resource for runners. ‘We don’t make any money from sign-ups, and I want to keep it that way, this is a free website for runners! I know that our members appreciate that.’
Image by Shirokazan courtesy of Flickr