WORDS BY LIKE THE WIND – PHOTOGRAPHY BY JACK HARE
Why do you love running? For many runners, being with other people is a big part of the attraction of the activity. Which explains why a new movement called Everybody’s Local is proving to be so popular. It is giving runners from around the globe the chance to get together.
Berlin, September 2023. The city is buzzing with marathon fever. Both the men’s and women’s elite fields are packed full of talent. The weather is set to be perfect for race day. And the city has opened its doors to runners from around the world with a welcome not seen since before the pandemic.
In a part of the city away from the tourist hubbub – Nogastrasse, near Körnerpark, to the south of the bustling heart of the city, runners are congregating at the Taktil bakery. They are here because they have a love of some of the simple things in life: running, friendship, coffee, cold beer and good food. They are here because of an exercise in community called Everybody’s Local.
The idea behind Everybody’s Local is simple and powerful: blur the lines between sport and lifestyle culture.
the concept allows the runners involved to celebrate their local running culture and create runner-to-runner connections
London-based running crew Run The Boroughs (RTB) is the embodiment of the idea that running is for everyone. It was founded in late 2018 as a way for a group of friends to be more active – as well as to be sociable. Ben Ari, founder of RTB, explains: “The idea for Run The Boroughs was to create a crossover between running as part of our lifestyle and the performance side of the sport. The idea was to produce something that has less of an elitist approach to running.”
Embracing runners of all types has given Run The Boroughs a true community feel while also maintaining the sense that running is a challenge. For example, Ben points out that 22 members of RTB took part in the London Marathon in April 2023.
The philosophy behind Everybody’s Local echoes and enhances the message promoted by New Balance’s Run Your Way campaign: running embraces everyone, no matter where, when, how far or how fast they run.
Run The Boroughs became the heart of an Everybody’s Local event that took place during Paris Fashion Week in June 2023 – the precursor to the Berlin meet-up. In both cases, the events were about athletes and creatives coming together, with running as a link.
This is the beauty of Everybody’s Local. It is organised and delivered by runners, for runners. Each event is a collaboration between different groups. In Paris, Run The Boroughs worked with the team behind PaperBoy, one of Paris’s coolest spots for breakfast, brunch or lunch, located in Le Marais. RTB brought the running and PaperBoy supplied the food and drink. It was a perfect match.
In Berlin, a heady mixture of people have congregated at the Taktil bakery. Run The Boroughs bring their experience of hosting group runs, PaperBoy deliver great food and drink, a Berlin crew called division:bpm are the local connection and New Balance acts as the glue, holding it all together.
Much like PaperBoy in Paris, Taktil has a mighty reputation as a great place for food – in this case the best place to get crusty French baguettes or traditional round Austrian
loaves… and more. For a few days in the middle of September, Taktil is the home of Everybody’s Local.
Collin Neunkirchen is a crew captain with division:bpm. He explains that being part of Everybody’s Local was the first time the collective raised its profile. “First and foremost, we call division:bpm a collective because we’re open – there are no barriers to entry,” he explains. “Since we launched the collective two years ago, we’ve kept pretty quiet and grown slowly through word-of-mouth connections.” Collin, and some of the other captains at division:bpm, work in the fashion industry. This means that not only did they understand the possibility of connecting lifestyle and running, but they were also familiar with PaperBoy and its reputation in streetwear. So to be part of something that brought London’s Run The Boroughs and Paris’s PaperBoy together was, according to Collin: “a validation of what we are doing in Berlin.”
There’s a real sense of community at division:bpm’s regular runs, and this extends into their involvement with Everybody’s Local. “One of our aims is to make running as accessible as possible,” says Collin. “division:bpm is a way that a lot of expats find community and make friends in Berlin. And we believe that is important because sport is a great way to facilitate inclusion.”
In Berlin, the buzz is tangible – not just for the race ahead, but for the international connections that Everybody’s Local is creating and the future that this concept promises. So far, the Paris and Berlin events have proven to be exceptionally popular. Next up, there are plans for an Everybody’s Local event in London. And beyond that? Who knows. But one thing is certain: the mix of running and creativity will be the common theme bringing people together.
That, and amazing sandwiches, of course.