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Start 2 Run app conquers Europe: most successful personal running app welcomes new coaches

Start 2 Run, also known as the popular ‘Hardlopen met Evy’ running app in Belgium and the Netherlands, is booming during these times of lockdown. The app is ready to conquer the rest of Europe: with a successful launch in Germany on Tuesday June 16, it is a matter of time before other European countries will follow this summer.

The Start 2 Run app is a guide to everyone who wants to start running, up to the first 5 km. But it’s also a good tool for those who want to maintain their fitness and build up stamina. There are 25 different running schedules, going up to a marathon distance. Unlike most apps, the Start 2 Run app acts as a personal coach with a real voice that guides and motivates you while you’re running. For Flanders and the Netherlands, Evy Gruyaert is the digital that will encourage you to finish your first 5 km.

The app has already been downloaded 1,650,000 times in Belgium and the Netherlands and has 600,000 active users. The COVID-19 crisis and the guidelines issued by governments to exercise in the proximity of your home have once again made the app boom. The number of active users in the past 10 weeks has doubled compared to the first ten weeks of the year. The amount of training sessions and registered kilometres has risen even more and is 2.5 times higher than at the start of this year.

Marijke De Vuyst, Brand Manager Start 2 Run: “The realisation that exercise is good for you, both physically and mentally, has grown enormously in recent weeks. We notice this not only by reading the numbers, but at the same time we receive lots of personal messages through our active Start 2 Run community.”

The success story of Start 2 Run goes back to 2006 when TV host Evy Gruyaert presents a programme that aims to get people running. After publishing a book and starting a podcast, the first Start 2 Run app followed in 2013, driven by Energy Lab. In addition to personal guidance and cheerings from Evy, the strong Start 2 Run community is a great plus. The various users interact, motivate, and help each other.

Start 2 Run speeds through Europe

In the following weeks and months, Start 2 Run will also be launched in many other European countries, each with a fitting local celebrity as a coach.

As of Tuesday, the app is also available in German, with fitness expert Fernanda Brandão as its face and voice. In July and August there will be app launches with Walloon, French, English, Italian, Portuguese and Swiss celebrities. The Scandinavian and Spanish releases are planned in the fall.

Marijke De Vuyst: “Our plans to roll out Start 2 Run in Europe are a logical consequence of the complete rework of the app that we implemented at the end of December. The COVID-19 crisis has also accelerated talks with the various ambassadors in those countries.”

The Start 2 Run app is developed by Energy Lab, the company that helps people move more and better and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It offers testing and coaching (in test centres, via only platforms or mobile apps), as well as corporate exercise programmes. Energy Lab is part of the Golazo Group.


App Store:

Google Play:

Fernanda Start2Run 4354 Cg
Fernanda Brandão: the new face for Start 2 Run in Germany

Some notable Start 2 Run figures during the corona crisis:

Number of active users (who effectively start a training session)

  • Before the lockdown (period Jan 2020 – mid March 2020): 40,000
  • Since the lockdown (mid March 2020 – late May 2020): 80,000

Number of training sessions

  • Before the lockdown (period Jan 2020 – mid March 2020): 256,000
  • Since the lockdown (mid March 2020 – late May 2020): 670,000

Number of registered kilometres

  • Before the lockdown (period Jan 2020 – mid March 2020): 991,000
  • Since the lockdown (mid March 2020 – late May 2020): 2,600,000

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