Some people need no introduction. If you are reading this, there is a strong possibility that you are fitter, faster, have more friends and love life more because of @gregexploring 👌🏼🤗 Want to learn a simple life hack that could truly change you? If you run with people you will run more often. And better yet, if you organise running events then you have no choice but to show up! This little trick is something that our co-founder Greg lives by and was of course the idea that built #midnightrunners
Greg's enthusiasm for grabbing life by both hands is totally inspiring. His ethos “the more you give to the world, the more you get back” has really shaped all of us and it is Greg’s endless passion, enthusiasm, and commitment that has helped build our community to what it is today 👟💥 Mr Drach doesn’t just talk the talk however – he seriously walks the walk. His race list from 2016 reads like an epic saga - UA Run Camp in Colorado, 3 official marathons (and countless more), 2 ultras - 100k Race to the Stones & 90k Ultravasan in Sweden and recently headlined in a chessboxing fight! Inspiring stuff from an inspiring man.
Greg – you are super sick, thank you! When we shout Greg, you shout rocks 👊🏼 Photo by Daniel Varga 📸
Our co-founder Christian is an MR visionary and driving force behind some of our maddest events 🙌🏼 Some of the iconic Midnight Run themes such as Wimbledon, Carnival or 007 were all his ideas. Midnight-to-Midnight, Circle Line Tube Boot Camp Run, 10k 10 Bridges or more recently our winter jackets – none of this would have ever happened if not for Christian’s big idea thinking.
Christian lives his life by the motto, “You don't get too old to play, you get old when you stop playing” and has taught us all a lot about how to stay young! From Ultimate Ears sponsorship, to introducing electric longboards for our photographers, he always makes sure that fun is at the core of everything we do.
In 2016, Christian organised a long running weekend in the Swiss Alps and he also took us to Lisbon where we had our Midnight Run, a day of surfing and marathon running. He often paces the front group, and always pushes us to do our best. Thank you Christian for always taking everything we do up a notch and showing us that only sky's the limit.
📸 Photo by Máté Fulop
The first time we heard Esther’s laugh we automatically knew she would fit right in. And just like her laugh her personality is equally infectious. We are obviously not alone in thinking this: when Esther (@estherruns) started running with us it seems that she brought the party with her. 🎉 Our small group of runners literally doubled over night.
Esther is our Midnight-to-Midnight Queen. For the past 2 years, she has led the charge for our annual 24 hr charity relay. Trust us, this woman can do it all… event planning, logistics, marketing, sponsorship, promotion, & rallying runners for a good cause!
It is not only her awesome personality and exquisite organizational skills that makes Esther an incredible piece of the MR family – she also inspires us too. Esther’s story on her path to becoming a runner is pretty famous (she did her first marathon with a broken ankle😱) and despite battling a recurring injury all year, Esther completed the 100k Race to the Stones.👏🏻 And of course in true Esther style… not only did she complete the mega challenging ultra-marathon, but she also managed to convince a group of 30 Midnight Runners to join her.
Quite simply life with Esther is one big party. It has been a riot young lady. Can't wait to see what you inspire us to do in 2017! Photo by David Altabev.
The girls want him, the boys want to be him. Introducing our very own blue steel: @joelandrewcharley 👊🏼 Remember the time we ran a half marathon on the beach in Southern England? And the time we ventured to the last stop of the central line in Epping Forest and discovered that London has a lot more to offer than just street running? And then there was the time that we braved the hills at Seven Sisters… this is all the magical workings of our in house party animal Joel.
One thing is for certain, without Joel, we would have missed out on some of our most beautiful and challenging runs. Joel is our MR Trail Series mastermind 🌿💭 He is at the very beating heart of our community and has had an incredible 2016. He represented MR at the Under Armour Run Camp in Colorado, completed Race to the Stones 100km ultra marathon, ran countless marathons and works tirelessly to make MR bigger, better and more exciting for all our members.
Joel - your passion for our community means it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thank you for bringing us along on these crazy adventures. We can’t wait to see you #crusheverything in 2017!
Midnight Runners is all about breaking down barriers, having fun and improving yourself. Need inspiration? Look no further than George, one of our most badass ultra runners 🤘🏼🏃🏻
George has run, in his usual relaxed and totally chilled way, in some of the worlds most iconic ultra-marathons including Ultravassen in rural North Sweden this summer with three other MR Crew. What is more impressive is that these incredible achievements of athleticism are taken totally in his stride.
George is in his natural habitat on our long Sunday runs, leading and pushing the group to achieve the best of their ability. Whilst we are all busy trying to be better runners, George sites his biggest achievement as inspiring other runners to reach their goals: “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is" - the motto he places central to his life.
So THANK YOU from us George, you have inspired all of us 🙌🏼 We are slightly excited but also a little scared about what crazy and far flung Ultra you will twist our arm into doing next… Oh okay… See you at the start line G-unit! Photo by Mate Fulop.
Have you found that some people you meet immediately make an indelible mark on your life? That they get under your skin like a super cool tattoo or a scar that comes with an awesome story of some far flung adventure? Well imagine if that mark was colorful, full of bubbles, & faster than the speed of light? Then you have imagined DD. Although it’s hard to keep up with her, you can usually spot her from afar because of her colorful attire. Let us introduce DD – our resident bundle of joy, energy and enthusiasm.
DD is one of our crew members who has been there from the beginning. It’s hard to believe, but when MR started, the furthest DD had ever ran was 5k. Since then, DD has completed 3 marathons, countless 10ks and squatted to Flower more times than is advised.
In many ways DD encompasses everything we take pride about in Midnight runners: fitness, fun, personality and friendship. In her own words: “The heart of the community has remained the same whether there were 5 runners or 500: friendship and family. MR isn't just about running or training for your next big event, it's a place to spend time with friends you love and future friends you will meet, this is why I look forward to every run”.
Photo by the talented Daniel Varga 📸
We don't know much about James' life before his days at Midnight Runners but rumour has it that he was raised amongst race horses.
You can usually find James at the front of the MR pack, side stepping, zipping and sliding past bemused Londoners. He often travels so fast that passers by think they have seen a lightning strike. It has been confirmed that 80% of UK UFO sightings can be attributed to James running 💫
Despite this he claims not to like long distance running, even though he cranked out his first marathon with a sub 3 hr time. That’s pretty impressive (err impressive? That's elite!!). Now, he has his sights on a sub 17 minute 5k… wowza!
On the nerdy side, James is our go to IT advisor. He helps make sure our beautiful web page remains beautiful. Well, we think you are great James. Thanks for leading us from the front. Photo by Mate Fulop.
You know the friend you have that is always willing to jump in feet first, no matter what crazy idea is thrown her way? Well for us, that dear friend is Ana 😍 And the best part… she manages to jump in with crazy enthusiasm that is undeniably one of the most contagious things we’ve ever caught. Not to mention… she has a knack for humor, cracking jokes and always making sure that everyone is having a good time!
Ana rarely misses a Tuesday 10k bootcamp and is always there smiling, cheering and supporting. Although she is one speedy gal, you can often find her slowing down and leading from the back - sometimes a friendly smile and joke from Ana are all you need to finish a tough 10k! Ana has also become one of our exercise experts, pitching ideas and planning the exercise stops 💪🏼 She has ran countless 10ks, achieved her furthest distance of 28K in one go, and completed 3 loops for a total of 30K at Midnight-to-Midnight. She’s also a workout junkie, exercising 6 or 7 times a week!
Now she has her sights on her first official/timed half marathon. Well, Ana, we can't wait to cheer you on! 🙃 Photo by Mate Fulop.
Next on our line-up of superhuman crew members is our real life Action Hero, Jody (aka JB 😎). When Jody joined for his first run, he hit us like a tornado. From week one, he was eager to help out - planning routes, party venues, and even leading our Tuesday night bootcamps! One thing is for sure, no matter what JB does, he always gives 150% 💪🏼
Not surprisingly for an Action Hero, JB's list of running achievements is pretty epic. Alongside several impressive long trail runs and marathons, he completed the 90k Ultravasan in Sweden in less than 9 hours! AMAZING 🏅
Although he's been in East Africa recently that hasn’t stopped him from being actively involved in the MR community. Not only has he continued to help us in London but he's also started a new MR group in Africa with runners from all around the world 🗺
This man is a true leader. He inspires and motivates; he encourages and he challenges. Jody, we could not be more glad that you joined our community and cannot wait to have you back in London again soon! 📸 Daniel Varga
In 2015, some midnight stars collided and we picked up Matteo en route during one of our epic hot tub runs 💫
Since then, Matteo has become central to our community. You will often see him, with a beaming smile, encouraging our runners on the streets of London as well as on our international runs in Barcelona & Athens 🙌🏼
Do you love how our runs always take you on a journey through wonderful secret parts of London? You can thank Matteo for this. Despite originally hailing from beautiful Italy he could be mistaken for being a Cockney Londoner – Matteo is our go-to mega amazing route planner.
On top of being an all-round hero, Matteo is a stellar runner, completing not one but three marathons and rocking out a PB of 03:42:04 in Manchester! Matteo, high fives to you.
📷 Daniel Varga
Did you know that Marina in Spanish means Superwoman? Neither did we! But luckily our very own comic book hero is very real indeed 👊🏼
Marina is a jack of all trades, who always brings contagious positive energy to the group. From logistics, to route planning, to designing, to cheering us on during ultras, to baking delicious Spanish cakes, she is always willing to step in and lend a helping hand.
On top of that, she’s basically a total badass. Marina is not only one speedy runner, but she is also mentally and physically hardcore. She has completed her first Triathlon in Poland, ran the Lisbon Marathon, and won 1st place in the female Half Bergen 12kg backpack Midnight Mountain Marathon in exotic Wales. Yeah, she won a race... in the mountains… at midnight... in Wales... whilst carrying 12kgs of weight!
Marina, Superwoman has nothing on you. We’re so proud to have you on our team! Stay you 😘👊🏼
Photo by Máté Fulop.
Daniel is one wonderful, talented man. Not only does he take some of our most stunning photographs, thanks to his incredible eye for detail but he is also the wise man of the group and one of the most kind, selfless people we know 🌟
He has 15 marathons in 8 countries under his belt as well as ultra marathons at 50K, 80k & 100k distances! On top of that he has also climbed Kilimanjaro 🏔
Thanks to all this experience and giving personality, Daniel has become our ultra marathon guru. About a year ago, we started training for @racetothestones and Daniel gave us survival tips and taught us how to be smarter on our long runs #respectthedistance. He's always on hand to encourage and offer great advice; a real demonstration of the power of our community to help us achieve our goals. We're lucky to have you Daniel!
📸 David Altabev
Sami the machine, our Ironman. You can find him at the front of the pack with a beat bringer on his back. He is the guy who runs a marathon distance in training “for fun” nearly every month and can jump into a marathon with just a few days notice (he actually did this for Athens, taking someone’s bib when they were injured with just one weeks notice 😮)
Sami has run 26.2 miles over 11 times since his first marathon back in July 2015, and that includes his first IRONMAN 👊🏼💪🏼 When he’s not running, biking or swimming you can find him practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Oh and did we also mention that he's an awesome designer, recently creating the brilliant new MR monogram?
Wow Sami, we can’t wait to see what you do next!
📷 Daniel Varga
If you're reading this then there is a 99.9% chance your facebook profile was taken by Máté Fulop 📸👍🏼 Now I'm not saying we are slaves to our social media footprint but oh my aren't Máté “Cheese and Freeze” Fülöp's photos pretty?! Of course we are introducing Máté, our legendary photographer, video creator, social bunny and all round awesome human being 🔝💙
Máté has become famous across London for his exceptional photography skills. Despite battling a few injuries this year, Máté never misses an event and has managed to perfect the complex art of commanding a Boris Bike, avoiding tourists and snapping beautiful, vibrant and colourful photos.
Máté got into running with the goal of completing a marathon. Since joining MR he has realized that a marathon is just the start… that's what Midnight Runners is all about, becoming a better you and doing it surrounded by awesome friends. Well we are glad we have friends like you Máté: thanks for recording all the fun. The memories will last a lifetime!
Photo during our Halloween run by Daniel Varga.
As regular Midnight Runners will profess our community goes way beyond running. MR is not only about the sport we love but also about the community based around running. Let us introduce Theo, who completely blew our minds this year by organising Love Trails Festival 🏔🌾
If Midnight Runners is all about bringing awesome people to get fit and socialise in an urban environment then Love Trails is our super cool rural festival counterpart. Love Trails was everything we love in a festival. Music, amazing people, running and incredible scenery. We are so looking forward to 2017 in Dorset 🏞
Theo is an amazing runner - he completed the 90k Ultravassen in a crazy 9hrs 12 mins 🙌🏼🏅Next year we'll see this total hero race in the Sky running championships. We are in awe!
Thanks for the memories Theo, we are packing our tent, trainers, guitar and UE boom ready for Love Trails 2017!
Photo by Daniel Varga 📷
Where to start with Laura, one of our most inspiring crew members ♥️
Like many of our members our very own hip-hop queen was recommended to come to Midnight Runners through friends. She loved the format of our events that allows runners to interact with each other - the community was a big part of what kept motivating her to come back. Laura’s story is unique though. Whilst training for the Chicago marathon in 2014 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and was forced to pull out. For many people this would be the end of their running career - but not this girl. Laura has gone on to run a half marathon PB and complete a total of 50km at our Midnight-to-Midnight. More inspiring though is her aim to finish what she started in 2014 and run a full marathon.
"When life gives you lemons, you paint them gold" is her life motto 🍋✨ Well Laura, you are a golden example of the power of the human spirit to not be defined by an issue. Keep inspiring us!
📸 Photo by Banea George Photography
Adding a serious slice of glamour to every run is our very own fashionista, Csilla 💁🏽 There is nobody who takes the costumes at our monthly themed midnight runs more seriously than this classy lady. No matter what the theme she manages to turn even the greyest London neighbourhood into our very own sophisticated MR catwalk.
Csilla also has a well earned reputation for finding us some of the most awesome after run venues. If some Saturday mornings have seemed a little fuzzy after a midnight run then you can usually thank Csilla for that 😝
Csilla isn’t just killer outfits and crazy parties though - this is one tough cookie. Completing 8 marathons since she started running 6 years ago, she also recently completed the Tarawera 100km Ultra Trail in New Zealand. That’s right she literally flew to the other side of the world to run 100km! Now she’s looking forward to convincing us to join her at the Budapest marathon in her home country of Hungary. Bring it on Csilla and see you on the dancefloor at the afterparty 💃🏼 Photo by Mate Fulop.
Olga is our fitness queen and one of the happiest, most enthusiastic runners around! ✊🏼
Olga has always loved running, but she didn’t understand the full power of running until a bike accident 3 years ago. The accident left her pretty beat up and caused terrible headaches every morning for months. Then one day she woke up and decided that she was going to live her life again. She reclaimed her love for running and cycling and used the accident as fuel. From there, she stepped away from her career in fashion to become a Personal Trainer. Through all of this, her love and gratefulness of life has expanded and made her the ultra happy Olga we admire. It’s this positive energy and can-do spirit that makes Olga a great leader 😍
Oh, did we mention she's also an INCREDIBLE runner? Olga's run 4 full marathons and 5 half marathons, including a speedy PB (1:40:59) at the hilly North London Half. Now she's training for an ultra in the fall!
Olga, thanks for sparkling so bright. We’re thrilled to have you on our team 💫 Photo: Daniel Varga
George is a guy full of surprises. Most shocking of all is that his running journey started after a ski accident that left him with 14 broken bones and heels that had to be replaced by metal (hence the bionic runner) After the accident George wasn’t able to walk for 3 months 🤕 Once he recovered, he started to run to prove that he had beaten the accident..
Not only did he come back stronger than ever but George took his recovery to another level. Since the accident he has ran a sub-3 hour marathon, 50k, 100k and set the record for fastest time running the 87 miles from London to Dover! He is an absolute inspiration and proof that hard work and mental toughness pays off.
George is the man to go about marathon training and is a super inspiration to us all 💪🏼 We're lucky to have you George!
📸 Daniel Varga