Maybe you’re reading this as a Harlem Run Monday Night Regular – if you are, you’ll know for sure what I’ll be talking about. But maybe you’re just reading this because you’ve heard of the Harlem Run movement. The family. If that’s the case; read carefully, because I’ll try my best to explain what all the fuss is about. Why all this running? Why all these people? Why this whole blossom of a community? I’ll tell you why.
First, let me tell you how I discovered #HR. It was really all just a big coincidence. I’m a 21-year-old runner. I’m from Copenhagen, Denmark, and a part of the NBRO family. #CrewLove. I was spending my summer in Guatemala, and on the way down there, I had a stopover in New York City for a day. I’d never been before, and to be honest, my expectations were low.
In Europe we are being force fed with American stuff, NYC in particular. I grew up with “Friends” and “Sex and The City”, so my exposure to it was pretty stereotypical. But then I arrived. And I spent the day walking from Chelsea to Spanish Harlem... And I loved it. I have no other words for it. It was the buzz. The vibe. The beat of the street. So when things didn’t go as planned in Guatemala, I decided to go back to NYC and chill for a month. And I had no idea what was in store for me.
Having had a few depressing experiences in Guate, I decided it was time for a solid run through the streets of NY. My crew captain, Anders, linked me up with another running crew in New York (coincidentally during Harlem Week!!) and there I was able to meet Joe, Amir, Sean Baez, and Frank Santiago Jr. They understood that I was new to the city, traveling all by myself, and they welcomed and encouraged me to come do stuff with them. Because THAT’S what runners do. That’s what family DOES! These people took me in, invited me to come run with them on a Monday night, and afterwards we had a backyard barbecue.
See; this summer was special to me. I was experiencing a lot of new stuff. Doing a whole lot of stuff I’d never done before. Just showing up at Harlem Shake to go run with a lot of people was seriously intimidating. But I did it because I knew I wouldn’t regret it. Because I love traveling, I love making friends from all over the globe, and I love to have something to go back to. And there ‘s no doubt I WILL come back.
And this one is for all of you who welcomed me with open arms, who still message me on a weekly basis because you know I miss you; Alison, Joe, Kai, Thai, Sean… ALL OF YOU. I miss you. I miss Harlem. I miss running with you in Harlem. Warm summer nights. And the summation of those things is, that I’m actually deciding right now, that I’ll be going to NYC to do my masters in a couple of years; ‘cause I feel deep in my bones that this summer changed my life. It changed the way I look at myself, the opportunities I know I have in your city, and the strong bond I feel between all of us.
I know that Harlem Run won’t wait for me - won’t stand still and wait for me to return. And I don’t want it to! You guys are doing so fantastic! Your movement is growing; your crew is expanding with the speed of light. I know I’ll come back within a short amount of time. And when I do come back; I’ll come back to a family ten times as big as the one I left three months ago. The family to which I feel a longing in my heart on a daily basis. My family.
What you guys have is so unique. It’s a love so radiant I can literally feel it across the ocean; from 3850 miles away. Take care guys, I’ll see you before you know it. Because that’s what it's all about: creating a community both in our own cities and in our world.
Thanks for reading.