The ‘largest running community in France’, Running Heroes, has expanded this year to include the UK and Australia, offering members a range of incentives to get and stay in shape. The dedicated running platform was founded by passionate runners; and Running Heroes operates on a simple concept – users run, and earn rewards from the brands that have partnered with the concept.
As of 2015, community members have run enough miles to circle the globe four times. Since its launch in March 2014, this model has seduced over 200,000 members in France. The website launched in the United Kingdom in June 2015 and has already attracted 20,000 runners. The Australian version was launched in May 2015 and has 12,000 members.
The team at Running Heroes note that running is an essential part of health and lifestyle. ‘Studies show that 30% or more of the population leads a sedentary lifestyle, something contributing to half of the global cancer diagnoses. Running Heroes wants to change that, and believes that finding new ways of motivating people to stay fit is a key part of that change.’
“Running Heroes wants to encourage people to go out and run regularly. We believe that we need to develop new motivational leverages for this,” said Quentin Auberger, Running Heroes’ UK Country Manager.
Running Heroes and brands reward runners through simple methods:
- Runners connect their running app or fitness device on RunningHeroes.com using their Facebook, Gmail or personal email address and their app’s ID
- Each time they run, runners are allocated points depending on the distance, time and elevation of their session, as well as their profile (women get 20% more points for example)
- With their points, they get access to exclusive discounts and gifts offered by Running Heroes’ partners (Nike, adidas, New Balance, Mizuno, Saucony, Brooks, Reebok, SKINS, etc.)
Running Heroes supports most popular running applications and devices, including Nike+, Runtastic, Garmin Connect, Strava, Runkeeper, Polar, MapMyRun and Endomondo.
The website will be launching new functionalities in the next few weeks. This includes ‘Sessions’, that will allow members to find running sessions created by other members, ‘Community’ that allows members to connect with other members of similar fitness levels and habits, helping to motivate both parties, and an online forum where users will be able to share their running experience, ask for help or offer tips.
Leveraging on its technology, Running Heroes also creates ‘Connected Races’ for NGOs and corporates. Organisations such as UNICEF, Lufthansa, Accenture, SCIEX and Suncorp have already been seduced by this solution. The concept is a virtual race that runners can complete anywhere at any time of the day using their GPS device, making it possible for people in the UK to compete with runners in Australia, Brazil or the US for example.
The most recent example was the TeamUNICEFWorldRun, a 10K race organized by Running Heroes and UNICEF that gathered 6,072 runners from 57 countries. The subscription fee was a €5 donation to help UNICEF support children around the world. In total £69,117 pounds (€94,909) was raised thanks to this single event.