Reflections on run club with Kriste Peoples


Running isn’t just a great way to move your body and work up a sweat. It’s also the connection to a loving community full of support, encouragement, comradery, and discovery. To celebrate Black History Month, we teamed up with Altra Elite athlete Kriste Peoples, a women’s trail running coach, outdoor guide, writer, and speaker.

We brought the local and global community together to experience the joy of run club, all while supporting the Running Industry Diversity Coalition.

While Kriste is usually the one cheering and encouraging others, it turns out this event was just the support and inspiration she didn’t know she needed. Here are her reflections on run club.






Honoring the Movement of Black History



When I learned about the opportunity to partner with Altra on a local and virtual run to honor Black history, I was excited to have just about all of my passions wrapped up in a single event: running in community, supporting great causes, meeting new and interesting people. On top of that, a donation would be made to the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, a nonprofit with a mission to make running more accessible for every body. Over a series of sprawling emails and Zoom meetings, we settled on a location and date for a community 5k and made our announcements.

A few weeks later, I learned I’d need surgery to remove a lump from my breast. As a relatively private person, I didn’t want to tell many people about it. To be clear, I didn’t want to tell anybody. I figured if I could get myself to my appointments – Ubering to and from the hospital when necessary – and laying low for a while, I’d be fine. I was strong, I told myself, in good shape, independent, I’d recover well. Plus, I didn’t want to bother anybody, especially since I’d still need to wait on results.

This kind of solitary thinking, of course, is madness. It’s the stuff of bad reality TV. You know, the kind where you watch the characters go from making bad to worse decisions and all you can do is gawk in disbelief. For about two days I was just like that. Ultimately, though, I’d have to tell Altra – because you just can’t fake running when you can’t run. I’d also have to break commitments to a few groups I’d made plans with prior to my news. I’d have to tell my extended family and friends, and it seemed my list only grew from there. So, I shared it all with the team and asked if we could extend the 5k to include walkers, which included me.


When the day came, I was a week into recovery and very aware of my new limits. I arrived on the other side of the park and tried jogging gently across to the group before my body reminded me about three steps in why I had to walk. It's a lesson I'm constantly relearning these days: slow down, there's no rush, you have more support than you know.

This last one bears repeating: we have more support than we know. I found that out when I shared my news about surgery. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of care from folks I didn’t even know. It’s a personal example from my own story, and it’s not unlike the bigger story of us all. There are countless moments throughout Black history - which is all of our history - that involve allies and advocates of all colors. Without those folks coming together to move their bodies in support of justice and change, we'd be telling a very different story today.


I think of the everyday people who linked arms to march on Washington, who chanted down the streets of cities and towns across the country – and around the world. A few generations before that, allies and abolitionists of every color stepped in to help provide safe passage for those running to freedom. Bearing this in mind as I circled that frozen park in solidarity with people moving in Hong Kong, South Africa, California, Boston, and beyond, I felt encouraged, connected to a movement much greater than my own knowing.

I'm heartened by this reminder and encouraged by the support of people all over the globe and from all levels of ability. We moved together to honor history, and given the fractious nature of our world these days, I wouldn't be surprised if our collective effort made a little history of its own in the process.