This is a four-part series highlighting local runners from all different backgrounds while exploring New Balance’s recent Run Your Way campaign. Click here to explore the rest of the stories.
Deep down we all know that running is good self-care, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about the positives and see it as a chore, even daunting at times. New Balance’s Run Your Way campaign is all about bringing back the good running vibes and embracing it on your own terms. We met with some runners from Berlin’s diverse community to discover a little bit more about each of their running styles. Their frequency, motivations and pace may vary, but they all run their way, and that’s the key. After all, the point should be to set personal goals and enjoy the journey one beautiful mile at a time.
Ex-basketball player Ben loves a cheeky inner city run. Having played a team sport, he values having a community to share the ups and downs of running with. Sometimes, a run can be the alone time you need to reset and recharge, but other times the more the merrier! I’m sure some of you can relate to feeling subconscious running alone in public (people ogling at you is not fun), but a friend by your side can be the support you need to hit your stride with confidence. Whether you race each other or take it slow with a chatty jog, a buddy is a great personal motivator and perhaps can even turn exercise into something to look forward to.
At Ben’s community focused initiative Run-n-Rave, there are plenty of running pals to go around. He organizes events in Berlin that bring people together bright and early in the morning, to start the day off with a run, short workout, followed by breakfast and a dance rave. While the normal ravers are on their walks of shame home (no judgment here), the early ravers are pumping up the jam to Ben’s tunes (did I mention he’s a DJ?). Open to runners of all calibers, it’s about having fun, feeling fresh and energized when you leave.
So Ben, tell me a little bit about you and your background.
I’m a Nigerian American. I played high-level basketball for 10 years, and then I had to find something else to do, and I found running.
Do you remember your very first ‘serious’ run? What did it feel like?
I can’t remember! It was probably the half marathon in Berlin in 2017 —and I died.
Describe Run-n-Rave. Why did you start it, and what does it mean to you?
I was looking for a way to share everything that brings me joy: running, mornings, music, and movement. I thought it would be hard to get my friends up at 7 am, but people are loving it.
What do you think running and raving have in common? Does one fuel the other?
Both allow you to just be without overthinking. You listen to your body get in the groove.
Do you run alone or in a group? How does this change the experience for you?
I love running with friends but sometimes friends don‘t show up and you have to do it alone. Both can be great.
What do you think of the running community in Berlin?
Like everything in Berlin, there is something for everyone. I love it. You have runners, ravers, and everyone in between discovering the feel-good magic of movement and getting in touch with your groove and your body.
If you have as much trouble with the snooze button as me, you may be thinking that the struggle of going for a run is hard enough, never mind waking up at an ungodly hour too. This may be better suited for early birds… or maybe you try it, and it changes your routine forever! In order to run your way, a good start is to discover options and try new things, one step at a time.
Whether you’re running or dancing, New Balance’s sportswear is designed for you to move with ease. Shop the pieces here.