“Running communities are a reflection of American communities, and if we know that American communities have been shaped by racist real estate laws; racist criminal justice systems; racist police officers; racist, segregated schools…how can there not be racism in running?”

This is an episode of Social Sport – another show on the CITIUS MAG Podcast Network. This show is hosted by Emma Zimmerman and features conversations with endurance athletes of all types committed to fostering social change. The athletes she speaks with on this show are climate change activists, mental health advocates, and promoters of more inclusive outdoor spaces. Through Social Sport, she shares the stories and thoughts of people who explore the connection between sport and activism in their lives.

Ben Chan is an ultra runner and activist, perhaps best known in the New York running community for his racing attire—leopard print short-shorts and a cowboy hat. But in recent times, Ben has also become well known for his activism. On this episode of Social Sport, we focus on Ben’s exchanges with a certain, high-profile race director (Gary Cantrell AKA "Lazarus Lake") who banned Black Lives Matter from his events. It can be difficult to talk negatively about people who have large followings, lots of power, and have created events that are, frankly, important to the running community. But Ben and I both feel that we need to hold everyone accountable for their words and for the communities they create—in sports and beyond. This episode was recorded about a week ago, and since that time, more exchanges have unfolded; "Lazarus Lake" shared his racist speech openly on a prominent podcast. So Ben’s sentiments shared in this episode are, perhaps, even more important.

Follow Ben on Instagram: @malerunner

More episodes of Social Sport can be found on CITIUS MAG.

Subscribe and listen to Social Sport on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts.

Also discussed in this episode:

The importance of Ben’s running outfit for challenging stereotypes of Asian-Americans Running as a form of expression

The Barkley Marathons documentary

Outside Magazine article, “Why Did a Virtual Ultra Ban ‘Black Lives Matter”

Runner’s World article on Ben and Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee

Ben’s post on anti-Ku Klux Klan residents and pro-Trump residents holding opposing rallies, 11 miles from Big Backyard Ultra

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Autobiography of Malcolm x, as told to Alex Haley

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