Who is a runner? According to Saucony, everybody has a place in the sport — no matter how running aligns with their lives.
The “Call Us Runners” film series presents a fresh take on the sport by focusing on the energy and feel of running, rather than focusing on what Saucony calls “identities and labels.”
The series of short films features folks who go against the sport’s typical grain. One episode spotlights rapper Trinidad James; another focuses on Jay Ell Alexander, owner and CEO of Black runner advocacy group Black Girls RUN! In another, Saucony athlete, Olympian, and father, Jared Ward, appears. Grayson Murphy, an elite runner in road, track, trail, and mountain running, features in another episode.
Each runner shares their experience breaking the status quo by engaging with their communities, families, and friends through running. Saucony president Anne Cavassa said the series celebrates an expanding running community and its growing diversity.
“During the past few years, the [COVID-19] pandemic growth of running has continued to evolve with seasoned runners running more and new runners joining the community,” Cavassa said. “With this boom has come a new spirit of what being a runner truly means, recognizing the multidimensional human being that goes beyond the act of running.”
Cavassa went on to note running’s “profound transformative” power to support individual self-care.
What’s a Runner? Clip Series Broadens the Category
“You could say we’re part of a movement, but I think it’s more about movement itself,” Alexander muses in her featured episode. “Moving together, running together — it’s empowering. And I think seeing us out there running, day in and day out, gives some women a chance to see themselves in ways they may not have thought of before.”
It’s immediately apparent that the quick videos reverberate with relatable good vibes like Alexander’s. Pleasing action cuts should make for easy watching against backdrops of beaches, mountains, and cities. Alexander’s holistic approach to running and creating community mirrors the films’ unified structure — “Call Us Runners” aspires to talk about the big picture without losing track of the simple things.
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“We have to break down barriers, saying come as you are and we will meet you there,” said Alexander. “You know, I am a mom, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a best friend. But being a runner helps me to kind of be better in all of those roles as well. So, when people say, ‘no, I’m not a runner,’ well, no, actually, you are. But you are so much more as well, and you don’t have to define yourself by a particular pace or being a particular size because you have so much more to bring to the table.”
All five “Call Us Runners” episodes are freely available on Saucony’s YouTube channel.