We all have our own reasons, why we ended up being a runner and for most people - being addicted to it.
All different stories that we would like to share with you.
This time we are covering the running culture in Asia and had a chit chat with James Lee McQuown
- James Lee McQuown - @jamestownville
- Based in Seoul - South Korea
- Runner and founder PRRC1936 - @prrc1936
When did you start calling yourself a runner?
"Although I’ve ran since Middle School, I never really referred to myself as a “serious runner” until year 3 of PRRC, when I ran my first marathon in 2016."
How does running effect your life?
"Running dictates many aspects of my life. For one, it brings much structure to my day. If I am in training mode, I know that the day will revolve around whatever program I’m involved in at the time. I know that every Wednesday night we have a group run and that on Sunday mornings as well, if the mates are up to it, we have a track session. If it’s Marathon Season, then my running program will determine what I eat, when I wake up, and/or traveling."
What does the phrase "running culture" mean to you?
"“Running Culture” to me can have two interpretations. First the unifying aspects of running in general; the sweat and grit of pounding out kilometers, the determination of obtaining a personal best, all the grueling, painstaking efforts involved in running, that anyone who runs very well knows and can relate with. We're all part of this strange tribe of people that chase after self-punishment. And secondly, on top of that notion, the localized flavor that your community brings to the table when you gather. For example although close in proximity, Seoul Running Culture and Tokyo Running Culture is very different. If you’re involved in the glory that is Bridge The Gap, you are well aware of the differences in each city you’ve run in. These differences in climate, style, language all bring about fun variations to the all familiar group run."
- New running communities are popping around the world these years, why do you think this is happening?
"I think social media has definitely played a large part in bringing people together. Prior to Instagram and Facebook you personally had to know someone to get involved. But now, not only can you know what crews are doing across the globe, but it’s easier to find out what’s happening locally as well. Social media used in the correct manner can be a great platform to bring like minded folks together to build something positive."
- Do you have any specific core values for your PRRC1936 crew?
"Yes definitely, with PRRC we try to be the embodiment of #CrewLove. We have several mottos that we try to live by, for example “No Pressure, No-Over-Doing-It”. Also we don’t use such terms at “Captain”, our membership sort of chooses its own level of involvement. The truly motivated ones are the faces you see every group run, there's no need to pressure or scold people to come out. We try to be as inviting as possible to maintain that sense of community."
- A transition can be defined as a training program, where your mileage and speed are build to peak at race day. Have you experienced such a transitions or do you prefer to run with the flow?
"I used to just run off feel. I’d set a general distance but pace-wise, just run as fast or slow as my legs were feeling at the moment. But since we started PRRC, after running a couple races, I got bit by the bug and have gotten a lot more serious about my training. We have had the fortune of several different coaches and pacers helping throughout the years and I’ve been able to learn more about different training programs. I’m currently preparing for my 5th marathon this spring."
- One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, wrote a book called: “What I talk about, when I talk about running” So let me ask you; what do you talk about, when you talk about running?
"Community. At this point, running is such a large part of my daily life, it sort of has become a metaphor for self-improvement. For the most part I’d like to share that and recruit people to get more involved. I mean running is the original sport, it is the most basic of athletics, it should be accessible to anyone. Being involved in BTG has been such a great learning experience for me and PRRC. This year will mark our third installment of #BTGSEL and it has become overwhelmingly obvious that the most important thing for a run crew is community. Sure many of us on the crew train separately as well, but if we didn’t have PRRC to come together and share, we wouldn’t have as much motivation to run as hard. Maybe it’s because we are Korean, but we tend to think of our club mates as extended family. Anyone who has visited Seoul and has run with us knows that we do everything together, not just group runs. It’s great being a part of something so positive. And then when you travel and see that other BTG’s have a similar vibe but with a twist, you’re instantly kin. It’s important that we support each other, when you got #CrewLove many great things can be accomplished."