A few weeks back, we wrote about the Women of Harlem Run - Alison, Kayla, Lisa, and Raydime - and their passion for running, community-building, and empowerment. This week, we want to give a special shoutout to the Men of Harlem Run. For as much as the ladies do for the movement, our four male leaders also work tirelessly to make Harlem Run a fun, unique, interactive, and inclusive experience.
It's not easy to put your entire heart and soul into being a leader of a running group. As you all know, every one of these men does things outside of Harlem Run; full-time jobs, school, other volunteer work, and maintaining a social life. But still, they knew that there was something special about this movement and so they all work tirelessly to make Harlem Run a place people want to be. We want to give it up to the Men of Harlem Run! Without you guys, our runs just wouldn't be the same. So who are they?
Amir was one of the first people to start coming to Harlem Run a few years back, after hearing about the group through word of mouth in the neighborhood. Amir and Alison had an instant connection and similar interests in community-building and using running as a vehicle for social change. Amir's passion for working with teens is evident, as you will often see him running with his mentees during our runs. Best known at HR for leading the #WalkItOut Crew (although we all know he can easily lead the 7minute pace group as well!), Amir's calm yet trustworthy presence makes everyone feel welcome and eager to keep coming back week after week.
Kai found out about Harlem Run through Meetup.com and knew almost immediately that this group was going to be something amazing. Kai uses his loud, powerful voice and witty sense of humor to reach out to people in the community and encourage them to come out to our runs. Although he can be seen leading group runs of 100+ people, there is something about Kai's demeanor that makes each and every individual feel like they are exactly where they belong. Greeting everyone with a friendly hug, Kai lets everyone know that we are more than just a run club, we are a family.
Joe was introduced to Harlem Run over one year ago when he was invited by his close friend and fraternity brother, Amir. Born and raised in Hell's Kitchen, Joe never would have imagined that he would grow so close to the Harlem community. We all know that Joe is a very fast runner (#Mister305), but what sets Joe apart is his belief that everyone has the ability to be great. He treats the people who run sub-5 minute miles with the same dignity, courtesy, and respect as those who bravely come to the walking group for the first time. That kind of energy is what we are all about in Harlem Run, and it is another thing that makes our movement so unique.
Logan, everyone's favorite 12-minute pacer, is a longtime friend of Alison's. He started coming out to runs and soon got addicted to the positive energy and camaraderie that he found. Known to some as The Closer, Logan can usually be found in the 11/12 minute pace group running with the back of the pack. This is a job that Logan takes seriously, because he knows how hard it can be to start running with a group even when you feel you may not be fast enough. The perfect mix of humor, encouragement, and just a little bit of tough love, Logan makes sure that no one is left behind.
These men are provide just a glimpse into all of the awesome and inspiring people we have who show up to our runs. But they do so much for our movement and community. So Men of Harlem Run, thank you for being you!