Running Shoes: An Extra Mile with @hiphoprun Founders Freddie & Denise

A few moons ago, I was lucky enough to interview and become friends with the founders of the Bay Area’s Hip Hop Run – Freddie & Denise (@hiphoprun). My first interview with them displays characteristics that I just knew would make their race a success: commitment to helping others, excitement to bring the community together, and dedication to this very meticulous process we call organizing a race. Not only was there a 5k, but a 10k and an obstacle race, as well.

I recently caught back up with Freddie & Denise just a few weeks after the inagural Hip Hop Run, and to no surprise, it was a HUGE success with fun, fitness, and a crowd of 1200 people. The first Hip Hop Run gained enough traction that a virtual race was added toward the close of registration, and it was a hit as well.

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Organizing a race is challening for many reasons, and as much as organizers prepare, some aspects are still unpredictable. The race date in late September, for example, happened to be during an unexpected Bay Area heat wave. Nothing a little extra water can’t fix, though – and race directors took great care of their participants. Plus, working together around the clock can get a bit tense. Even so, Freddie & Denise kept at it and made their race a huge success: “When things go really well, anyone can work together. On [race day], things can get chaotic, but we handled it,” said Denise. Freddie noted that making the race a success was a testament of how well he and Denise work together.

Despite the heavy workload of organizing a race, Freddie & Denise say this experience was extremely rewarding and totally worth it. Why? Freddie said it best: Seeing people succeed and have fun – runners, small business owners, music artists, spectators – makes it worth the work. ““The affirmations from all of our friends and family meant a lot,” he said. Denise agreed: “The energy the whole day was so good and positive. Everyone was smiling.”

The participants not only enjoyed hip hop artists and DJs along the course, but a post-race concert, as well. What runners truly enjoyed the most, though, were the awesome medals. Finishers sported their very own gold chain with a unique square medal donning the race logo. Take it from me: they’re heavy, which means they’re legit!

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Of course, we’re all wondering – what’s next? Freddie and Denise are happy to report that the Hip Hop Run will come to San Diego on January 27, 2017. Registration is expected to go live on the Hip Hop Run website within the next few weeks. If you are in the area, don’t miss out on this amazing event! The next Hip Hop Run will benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation and possible another charity in the San Diego area.

It was so great to catch up with these two, and I can’t wait to see where they take their race over the next year (Ohio, please!). I’ll definitely be catching up with Freddie & Denise again – cheers to their next race on 1/27! You can follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook.

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