There is an antidote to this though, and it comes in the form of Run Dem Crew, a running community started in 2007 by poet and writer Charlie Dark as an antidote to stuffy, traditional running clubs. RDC not only provides the young people of London with a vibrant, young family of runners to train with, but also helps celebrate the diverse urban environment from which it sprung, with post-run activities, films, talks and a social hub for work within the community.
Perhaps most importantly though, Run Dem Crew are never boring. Seven years in, they are still pushing boundaries of what a running club can be, whilst sticking to the ethos on which they were founded.
Founder Charlie Dark explains, on the set of UE BOOM’s ‘Make It Boom’ shoot where we meet, “Run Dem Crew have taken a stance against running whilst wearing headphones, because I think when you are running in a group it’s important to be able to communicate with the people you are running with.” This idea seems central to Dark’s beliefs, and indeed that of RDC. “The way that Run Dem Crew is different from a traditional running club” he continues, “is that running is not the most important thing that we do. It’s the least important. The most important thing we do is we come together as a family.”
It’s hard to disagree when you see Run Dem Crew in action, and the sight of young people running and socialising together is far more appealing than lonely divorcees huffing around the park, a stray, untied lace trailing in their wake collecting puddle water. Long term RDC member Sachia Legister agrees, claiming; “we don’t run with headphones in Run Dem Crew, because we’re a crew. We’re choosing to run together. I think it’s been said that if you want to run with headphones, go and run on your own. We run together because we want to run as one, we want to explore the streets together.”
See how Run Dem Crew make music social using UE Boom in ‘Make It Boom’
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