Running People’s Campaign
by Trey Bailey
It’s hard to believe that up until 2000 not all 50 states celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The holiday was signed into law by Ronald Reagan, and was first observed January 20, 1986. King’s name is synonymous with the civil rights movement in the United States, and his efforts laid the foundation for other civil rights movements across the globe. King’s defiance of racially discriminating federal and state laws through non-violent activism is something to always celebrate. Not just annually, but daily. There will always be individuals and groups that attempt to portray Martin Luther King Jr. Day as some form of reverse racism, but at least these groups are equally represented in non-discriminating laws that give them the ability to voice their opinions.
As a person that runs, I am a runner. And there are a lot of runners. Together we make up a collective whole that take strides as a group, and footsteps as individuals. We do not discriminate. Yes, there are social groups inside the collective: joggers, marathoners, elites, and ultramarathoners. Yes, we have our disagreements: “5ks are easy,” said the ultramarathoner. “Not if you’re running it fast,” said the 5k’er. In the end, or I should say, at the finish-line, we are all equal. It’s important that we protect this unspoken bond, and acknowledge that it may not have just started with us as runners. There are important footsteps that have been taken before us, and not just in the form of running that have laid the groundwork for equality among neighbors.
If you plan to run on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, run with someone you don’t normally run with. Slow down, or speed up. Run trails, or run roads. However you run, run with a focus on the understanding that we are all equal. Not just as runners, but as humans, too.