Global Running Day participants reflect on civil unrest, social injustices

In the wake of the nation's ongoing civil unrest, it might not seem appropriate to be celebrating much of anything. Yet it might be the perfect time for Global Running Day.

Many are using it as a day to reflect as well as inspire.

"Typically, on Global Running Day, I would do a run, and I would take a selfie, and I would say I love to run for all these reasons," Suzie Goodwin said.

It was always going to look different this year given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual running holiday took an emotional turn as well as a physical one for Goodwin, the host of the "Run Lift Mom" podcast.

"And what it is it just celebrates running as part of an active lifestyle," Goodwin said. " I think in light of everything happening with Black Lives Matter, it's just not that important today. Even to most runners."

Instead Goodwin was focused on her run club's annual Martin Luther King Day run to Fayetteville's MLK Memorial Park and what running means to others.

"During my run, I reflected on the events that happened this week and running with men and women of color and how their experience as runners is a lot different than mine as a white woman," she said.

Running should be a safe activity for everyone no matter what neighborhood you're in. It wasn't for Ahmad Arbery who was shot and killed in Georgia while jogging in February. In his memory, New Balance is donating 10,000 pairs of shoes while others are simply running in his honor.

"Regardless of skin color, regardless of whatever circumstances, running is of itself a freeing activity and it's a shame that some people can't feel that freedom when they are doing it," Goodwin said.

The group that is largely responsible for this holiday, the New York Road Runners is sending out a similar message on social media. Not running to celebrate but in support of black lives.

This year's Global Running Day theme is "run 1 tag 1." Run or walk one mile and tag a person to do the same. Participating could be a good chance to think about ways we can all make some changes
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