Camilla Swagar wanted to create an event for active singles to get together, get to know each other, and get moving. So she created Love Me Run—and the rest is history.
It all started last year when I was living in Arizona and the company I was working for asked me to move to Oklahoma, which would mean moving away from my family. I hesitated because I had already bought the domain for Love Me Run, now a matchmaking 5K where you run 1K with five different people. My older brother, who owns a venture capital firm, told me to stop making other people money and start making my own. When he asked me what I wanted to do, I said, well, I love marketing, branding, and helping build strategic relationships. So I stayed in Arizona and decided to pair those skills with my passion for fitness.
I love creating relationships that matter, and combining those with fitness makes it so much easier to stick to a plan. When you set goals with someone else, it's so much easier to achieve them. That accountability factor is huge. (That's part of the reason having a fitness buddy is the best thing ever.) With this idea in mind, Love Me Run was born. The first event was in April, our second a few months later, a third is set for November 12, but there are more than 10 future runs planned—the concept has really taken off!
The great part about the Love Me Run courses is they are friendly to all skill levels. It's made up of a run segment, followed by speed walking, and running again. There are helpful conversation starters in the speed-walking zone to help runners get to know the person they're walking with, and there are DJs at the runs, which gives it a fun atmosphere. There's also more "down time" to get to know other runners during a warm-up and cool-down, which is lead by Equinox trainers, as well a guided mindful yoga meditation at the end, followed by some time to mingle. Runners can also connect through the Love Me Run Facebook group before and after events. (The community atmosphere is really amazing, and you'll be able to reap those benefits to running with a partner.)
But let's backtrack a bit: Before that very first run in Arizona, I got a Facebook request from a guy named Jason. We had some friends in common and he must have heard about the run on Facebook because I was posting about it everywhere—he actually sent me a "good luck!" email the night before the first run. While he wasn't able to attend the first event since he lives in Hermosa Beach, California, we did email a little bit throughout the next few months, and he ended up attending the second run in San Diego. I was hosting the event and when I saw him running with other people—he went on five different dates with different girls—I realized I didn't like that very much.
Following the San Diego run, I was visiting my parents in Valencia, California, and when Jason noticed I was in town (Facebook gave me away) he asked me out to dinner. He drove an hour to Valencia from Hermosa Beach, met my parents, and took me on a wonderful first-date meal. After talking and laughing for hours we shared our first kiss later that night, and the following day I told my Mom that I was so blown away by him that I would be totally okay if I never got to kiss anyone else for the rest of my life.
My dates with Jason became more frequent and as such, our relationship became more seriously committed. Our like-minded interests and common values aligned us from the start. Now we talk about building a life and a future together, and we both say that we knew fairly early on that our relationship had the kind of potential that we hadn't experienced before...and we're looking for. Today when someone asks us when we "knew" we wanted to be together, we both say the moment we first kissed. As rom-com as it sounds, it really was magic.
Meeting Jason and having things turn out this way is incredibly surprising, but it's the kind of outcome I hope for everyone who comes to Love Me Run events. Healthy relationships help make everything seem better. You become happier and everything is easier—even running.
I had been looking for 15 years for what I've found with Jason. Maybe it's just good timing, serendipity, or something else, but I know I found it by creating this event. And if other people can find amazing relationships through exercise, then I hope this helps spread that feeling to everyone.