“Chinatown Runners is not a crew and it's not based in any specific locality. It's not a crew. It's a movement. I wanted it to feel bigger than just this one group that really sort of permeated throughout the entire running community worldwide. When you think about it, there are Asian-American Pacific Islander-centric communities all over the world outside of just America and Canada....Every neighborhood and borough has a dozen or so specialized running crews and groups, which is amazing and I don't want to try to eat anybody's lunch, but the idea is for it to feel really inclusive. And that's kind of the reason why I fight hard to say that it's not a running crew, but it's a movement...All you have to do to tag in is start or end a run in a Chinatown or an Asian-American Pacific Islander neighborhood or business even. Throw up the hashtag and show some love to a community that can really use it right now.”

Victoria Lo is a designer and senior creative with years of experience in New York City's running community. Most recently, she started Chinatown Runners as a way of bringing support, awareness and love to protect and preserve the Chinatowns and AAPI-centric neighborhoods in cities across the world. She underscores that this is not a performance team, crew or club but a movement. As noted on their website: "We run to fill in the gaps that global tourism can’t fill during a worldwide pandemic. We run to keep the streets safer by watching out for the most vulnerable. We run to celebrate the diverse cultural narratives that make our country wonderful." In this episode, you'll hear more about what drove her to take action and start this group as anti-Asian hate crimes and violence is on the rise.

Follow Victoria on Instagram:@omgvics

More on Chinatown Runners: https://www.chinatownrunners.com/ | Instagram

Resources: The AAPI Community Fund; Stop AAPI Hate; Save Our Chinatowns;  More here

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 21 at 10 a.m. at Union Square Park. Follow @runningtoprotest for more information.

This is Runners of NYC. A biweekly podcast from CITIUS MAG. Hosts Leigh Anne Sharek and Chris Chavez look to bring you many of the untold stories behind luminaries and legends that make up New York City’s running culture. You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Spotify.

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Episode photo by @crossinguard_ninja.

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