With the new gig economy, many freelancers are accessing local running clubs to workout and network.

When jogging became popular in the 1970’s it was mostly marketed as a solitary sport, something low-key a few people would do alone to increase their personal fitness. Today, running is insanely popular and inclusive with fun-seeking runners gravitating to groups like Parkdale Roadrunners, Running Rats and the Nike Run Club.

Not only is group running a great way for people to socialize away from the bar scene, BBC is reporting that group running clubs are the new best places to network, build relationships and uncover new career opportunities.

As more people travel overseas for business, or move abroad, the sport is becoming a popular way for people to make new contacts around the planet, or even secure a new job.

Old-school “business sports” like golf and tennis are exclusive and unattainable for most people, especially if they’re played at membership-only country clubs. If you’re not a rich kid or part of the “old boys club”, golf and tennis probably won’t help you make new friends and find a job.

Running, on the other hand, is much less elitist because all you need is a pair of running shoes. Even the Nike+ running app is free — it has 17 Million members around the world. Even if you choose not to run in a group, running brings people together into a community. Runners often nod and wave at each other as they pass by and, on social media, there are tons of people to celebrate milestones and relent setbacks with.

For those on the job hunt, running is down-to-earth and provides a comfortable context for conversations about work. Especially with the new gig economy, running clubs can be fruitful for professionals nomads travelling around the world for work.

To make new business connections over running next time you’re freelancing in Paris or New York, all you need is a pair of shoes and to say, “hello”.

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