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Running is Your Life

A morning with writer, sociologist and runner Lindsey A. Freeman.

How we practice running is a very personal expression, it both shapes and is shaped by our lives. In early ’23 a friend gave me a copy of ‘Running’, a little pink, queer, feminist running handbook that writer and sociologist Lindsey A. Freeman had written for herself, in the absence of it already existing. Lindsey’s book
examines how culture, the body and community intertwine through running’s lens.

I followed Lindsey on Instagram where we struck up a conversation. Born in Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains, and now resident of Vancouver, Canada, we finally met up on a Teams call, bonding over Diane Leather’s mile record and Belle and Sebastian’s music. Lindsey mentioned an upcoming trip to London, and a plan was hatched to create an event which would pick up on one of the book’s chapters, ‘Running is Your Life’, an intense running documentary from 1980 about Finnish long distance runner Lasse Virén and his training for the Moscow Olympic Games, which you can
watch here.

After some discussion with Architect and Writer, Sarah Ackland of Taking Space, we invited a group of 8 people, for whom running is a central part of their lives, to join us on a run creating the perfect opportunity for conversation to flow, without expectation. Photographer Morgane Bigault captured the morning on film.


The result was an inspiring group discussion on the run, with space for people to share different experiences and perspectives, hear each other out and make new connections.

Image with text

As Lindsey puts it herself so elegantly in Running;

‘We reproduce ourselves each day through the repetitive things we do, and even though they are often similar, each day, each run, and each new sentence written has the potential to shift things-a person, a thought, an afternoon-if only slightly. Over time these shifts are part of what forms a self, a body, and a body of work. While bodies and bodies of work are wonderful things, often how we appear to the world and how worlds come to meet us, this handbook is ultimately about the beauty of practice, the often unseen and overlooked actions of trying to do something well because you love it, and because by doing so you can touch and be touched by others who love it too.’

‘I can’t tell you how much I live for spaces encourage dialogue on the importance of intersectionality and understanding how that plays a part in the running communities we’re shaping/contributing/attending. More dialogue and opportunities to learn and understand from each other to make our communities better and safer please!’

Michelle Dzumbunu

‘This run and conversation was particularly special, with SOAR and Lindsey bringing together a group of interesting and interested change makers. We talked about women’s only races- and who this feels safe for, community, crews, clubs, when it feels safe to say you are queer, if it matters if you are queer, mens’ responsibility, red-s, ageing and, of course, racing. Thank you to Lindsey for taking such an interest in us, validating my nerdiness, telling me not to minimise myself (repeatedly) and making space in a world dominated by men.’

Sarah Ackland

Running is available to buy here

With thanks to our guests

Morgane Bigault, Photographer @morganebigault 

Ozzy Soltysiak, Head of SOAR Production

James Holt, Head of Midnight Runners London @jceholt

Rachel Boswell, Senior Content Writer Runner’s World @r.l.boswell

Michelle Dzumbunu, Health Tech and Community @runnersvantage

Tilly GW, Artist and Athlete @tillygw

Sarah Ackland, Architect, Writer and Feminist @saraheackland

Grace Cook, Writer @graceelisabethc