PETER ABRAHAM, A SPEAKER AT RunningUSA's “The Next Evolution Presented By Events.com 2016” conference that I attended at the end of June, recently notified attendees of the release of his TEDxUCLA Talk about how running can save cities. The stories he told at the meeting and in the Talk explain how he came to have unique insight into running in the big city of Los Angeles.
One story is that, as a chief marketing officer and creative director of the LA Marathon from 2008 – 2011 he helped rebuild that race and pull it from the edge of bankruptcy. As important as the financial rescue, he indicated, was the effort to unite the multiple geographic communities of LA through which the revised race route was planned and the cultural communities whose support was needed to make the event successful. In another story of his involvement in the LA running scene Abraham makes the point that runners as members of social groups, like Blacklist LA which takes runners through the streets of the city at night to see it’s street art, can literally inspire transformation of some physical features of a city. Students Run LA is the running-as-community example with which he started his Talk presentation, telling an inspiring story of one young woman’s life. This organization provides an opportunity for youth from all over the city to join in training to run the entire LA Marathon.
Hopefully Peter’s message of civic salvation through running will motivate people living in mega-urban centers to create, contribute to, and run in community-engaging events, drawing in those who are socially “at-risk” and who feel isolated. However it’s just as vital to get the message of running salvation to individuals who yearn to be part of an awesome urban scene, but by geography or circumstance must run alone or be damned (not run). Running “scales well”, he says, and although his presentation demonstrates that it scales-up well, it also can scale-down to the single person.
His message, as I take it, is that ALL RUNNERS, regardless of living situation, should consider themselves united in one community by the sport and the dreams that drive and efforts that enable their participation. Abraham encourages each member of his Talk audience to get out at street level; neither shoes (run barefoot) or functioning legs (use a wheelchair) are required, he contends.
You can view the video through this link (click here) or see below the Competitor.com address..
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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