Urban Art Run: A running tour of hidden beauty

Meet Laurent, who started the Urban Art Run project to combine his love of running and urban artwork

Urban Art Run was born when Laurent discovered a new passion for running a few years ago. Being the founder of Music On Walls, a project that promotes visual arts inspired by music, his favourite way to discover a new city has always been seeking out art murals – to rethink the city by mapping it out in his own way, making the murals his landmarks, and to use their locations to help him navigate.
When he moved to Berlin, now his base, he started to take part in various running clubs and got more involved in the vibrant running community of the city. After a few months in Berlin, with a deeper understanding of the running culture, Laurent had an idea. “I knew that runners were always looking for new routes and that they were open to experience new things while running”, he thought.
Urban Art Run: A running tour of hidden beauty
He began to share his knowledge on urban art with different running groups and, from here, suggested that he could take them for what he would call the “Urban Art Run”  – a guided tour of Berlin’s urban art while running. They loved the idea. More and more running groups invited him to lead them on an UAR (Urban Art Run) and it became his way of giving back to the running community. “UAR represents the essence of what I love to do : promoting urban art and artists as well as promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Since 2016 Laurent has designed Urban Art Runs for more than 1000 runners in cities like Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, from all levels and backgrounds. He has collaborated with the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Soho House in London, Interview Magazine and more. This year, Laurent has been chosen to become an ON Running ambassador and to lead the next Art Run event by ON.
While building a community of Urban Art runners, Laurent met with the founder of Runlive, Mike Thompson, earlier this year. Mike had just launched a new running app that redefines the ultimate running experience by connecting runners across the world to run together in real-time. Mike and Laurent decided to join forces and develop the Runlive project both in the USA and Europe.
Urban Art Run: A running tour of hidden beauty
By combining his passion for art and running together with his Urban Art Run project and Runlive, Laurent wishes to become closer to the worldwide running community. “There are so many amazing running events around the world. And the running community is one the most dedicated communities in the world.”
UAR allows you to really learn something new while running. “For me running doesn’t always have to be about performance or competition,” says Laurent. “There are so many things we don’t see anymore when we’re used to living in a city, we don’t take the time anymore to look at what’s around us. We mostly commute from one place to another looking at our phones…”
What would Laurent’s advice be? “I always advise my runners to look up, to learn about their environment. Try to find places where you don’t expect to see a great piece of art.”

Written by Women's Running Magazine | 1545 articles | View profile

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