Running has long been considered the hobby of loners, high school kids who don’t fit in with the jocks, or suburbanites trudging alone with an iPod. While we see athletes like LeBron James, Cam Newton, and Cristiano Ronaldo plastered everywhere, the image of the runner is seemingly absent from pop culture lore. Distance runs and camaraderie seem like antithetical concepts, but crews like London’s Run Dem Crew and New York City’s Bridge Runners are turning heads in two of the world’s most recognizable metropolises while inspiring onlookers to join the throng. With routes that explore paths both scenic and seedy alike, these running crews are looking to make the sport alluring to urbanites, to push themselves and each other. Both crews were on hand for the Shanghai Marathon, and we were fortunate enough to get a few minutes with DJ Charlie Dark from the London-based Run Dem Crew, who clued us in on the importance of culture and history. Mike Saes, a Downtown NYC veteran, began the Bridge Runners Crew and was also on hand to chat about urban exploration and the importance melding neighborhood awareness with improvisation.