Robin Arzon and along with crews of street runners across the globe have created a fascinating new facet to running. Everything else I’ve seen in the last few years is gimmick…THIS, on the other hand, is authentic and real. From the first time I encountered Robin’s Tumblr page, I’ve been enthralled.
Robin, the NYC Bridge Runners, and other global running crews are unique in ways you have to visually experience for yourself. When I finally caught up with Robin (having just arriving back from Europe) one of my first questions was, “I’m so intrigue by you and your fellow runners’ style… how do you even go about explaining it?” Robin’s answer a straight up perfect, “It’s running that marries art, music, fashion and street culture.”
In the time we spent on the phone I got to know more about this multi-talent lawyer, ultra runner and social media mogul who’s helping change how we can experience running.
TAUR: Going back, how did you get started in running in the first place?
Robin: I was in law school and would go out for 2 mile runs between classes. One day I saw a poster for a 10k, without even knowing what that meant I showed up for the race the next morning. I was so sore afterward but I was hooked. I remained a solo runner through law school but after moving back to New York I discovered the Bridge Runners crew.
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TAUR: You use the word “crew” exclusively. Can you explain how you see the difference between a running group and running crew.
Robin: The difference is that a crew has more of a shared cultural ethos. We share running as a common bond but it goes a step beyond into a shared lifestyle outside of the running. It’s as much about what we share outside of the run as it is how we train together.
TAUR: We focus on trail & ultra running and I know you’ve done a couple of 50 milers and some trail running. How did you cross over?
Robin: Marathons seemed to be something that everyone was doing and the shock of what I was accomplishing had worn off. During the Nike Make It Count campaign they asked us to state our big goal for the year. Without thinking it through I said a 50 miler… and it was on tape.
TAUR: … and…
Robin: I did it. I finished my first 50 miler and fell in love with nature at the same time. I couldn’t have had a better experience. I had delusions of giving up city life like Thoreau. My second 50 couldn’t have been more different. It was raining and I lost a contact so I was half blind for 16 miles.
TAUR: Tell me more about Bridge Runners.
Robin: Mike Saes, the founder, started by literally running bridges in New York City. Mike is so rooted in the cultural diversity of the city that the people who joined his runs brought those aesthetics with them. These are DJ’s, photographers, designers and artists who might not feel at home with, say, the Central Park Track Club.
TAUR: And you really connected with this movement?
Robin: I totally embraced it. I’ve connected with similar crews all around the world. I’m totally committed to the movement and anyone who sweats with swagger. I recently started a new group with creatives Samantha Jo Alonso and Nai Vasha called Undo-Ordinary. The purpose of this movement is to widen the aperture of who is a runner. We’re disruptive to the sports and fashion worlds alike.
TAUR: What’s next for you?
Robin: I’ll be off to Berlin and then back in the US heading to Utah to run 5 marathons in 5 days as part of the MS Run the US.
See all snippets of all Robin’s adventures on her Tumblr Account… shutupandrun.tumblr.com