Running in Stockholm
For travelers to Stockholm who are also avid runners, Australian Dan Paech created Run with Me Stockholm which aims to make running in Stockholm more accessible for locals and travelers who are interested in running.
Run With Me Stockholm organizes and facilitates free running meet up events and offers guided running tours.
So I caught up with Paech to learn more about him and his company.
STS: Tell us about yourself and how you ended up in Stockholm
My name is Dan Paech, I am Australian and 30 years old. I grew up in Perth, Western Australia, but also lived in Sydney for four years before moving overseas in 2011. Since then I have been in Central and South America, and lived and worked in London prior to moving to Stockholm in February 2014.
I was supposed to work in Stockholm for four months then move back to London but I fell in love with the city and decided to stay. Part of the reason I love Stockholm is because of my house, which is called Hus 24, a co-living collective in Gamla stan. I live with 11 other people, which is not very Swedish, but suits me and is a lot of fun. My background is in public health and management and I have worked as a Health Economist in Australia, the UK and Sweden.
I am passionate about health and fitness and wanted to try something different after working in consulting for six years.
How did the idea come about and what makes the concept interesting?
The idea for Run With Me Stockholm came about after I went running with some friends visiting from overseas in the summer of 2014. They had said how great it was to have a local to run with because they were able to see parts of the city that they would not have otherwise known about. I realized that one of the main barriers to running in a new city is that you are unsure where to go.
I thought it would be great to have a service where you could find a local to run with so I started the group on Facebook. The premise was that anyone visiting would be able to find a local or locals to run with, basically crowd sourcing a local running friend who could also act as a passive tour guide.
There are a few things that make the concept interesting and unique. Firstly, it is a running group that encourages and seeks participation and interaction with tourists, which is rare for a local running club. Secondly, anyone in the group can organize an event and invite others to join.
This allows members to take ownership of the runs and more importantly for locals and tourists to explore different parts of Stockholm, running with people in areas previously unfamiliar to them. It also promotes shared experience, and tourists and expats have the opportunity to discuss recommendations on things to do while in Stockholm. Locals have also found it is a great way to network and make new friends.
How long has the company been running (pun intended) and how has the reception been like so far?
Run With Me Stockholm was founded in August 2014, but we have recently re-launched the website and as of May this year are offering guided running tours. The feedback has been extremely positive, with people appreciating the opportunity to meet, run and socialize with a group of like-minded people who are proud of their city.
We have had tourists running with us from all over the world. Since the group’s inception, runners from over 30 different countries have attended. The guided running tours commenced last month and offer tourists the chance to learn more about the history of Stockholm while running and cross training.
The travelers that have taken the guided tour have really enjoyed it, saying it is a great alternative to the city walking tours as you can see more of the city and get a work out at the same time.
What are your upcoming schedules and plans?
The plan is to continue facilitating free runs for locals and tourists, and to increase the awareness of the guided running tours. We are also developing an audio tour for runners which we hope to release shortly.
How can travelers who are avid runners find you and join your runs?
The easiest way to connect with the group is via Facebook. Travelers can view and join upcoming running events or search for other people to run with. For the guided running tours, travelers can book through the website.
You can also follow Run With Me Stockholm on Instagram.