April 10, 2017 districtrunningcollective@gmail.com

#BTGDC: We Live, Baby!

A couple years ago, we had this crazy idea: Host Bridge the Gap in DC. We didn’t know how we were gonna pull it off. We didn’t know if we had the resources, or even enough interest. What we did know is that we had a special vibe. Our crew’s energy is infectious to those around us, and we make sure to take that positivity with us wherever we go.

We’ve been to a few BTGs before, and we loved what we saw. New York…Toronto…London…Each of the hosting crews in these cities gave their own take on what it means to bring people from all cultures together over running.

Now, it was our turn to step up to the plate. We knew it was our duty to show everyone what DC is all about. With the U.S. political climate doing a 180 towards the end of our planning, we felt especially responsible for showing y’all a good time. In a time when our country is so divided and polarized, it was dope to bring folks together from all over the world to one of the most powerful and influential cities on the planet.

DC… aka Chocolate City, the land of Mumbo sauce, go-go, the place where MLKJ gave his “I Have A Dream Speech”, the place where Obama’s presidential motorcade used rush through the streets, the U.S.’ seat of power, a “small town” with arguably the biggest influence. The home of District Running Collective.

We’re honored to have been able to share our corner of the world with you. Bridge the Gap doesn’t end at these events, however. It’s a continuous conversation that helps us change the landscape and definition of what it means to be a runner. It goes beyond bringing international crews together. It can be about closing the space between a beginner and more advanced runner. Or, how about the need for understanding between a half and full marathoner? What about the space between who you are as a runner now and the kind you want to be?

So what exactly happened that weekend? So much, but here are our top five moments:

5. Cheer Squad…
If you had to pick between running a race and being a part of the livest cheer squad on the planet, it could be a tough decision. This cheer squad was something really special, though. Not only did we have members from DRC, we had participation from the other crews as well. If you don’t run, you cheer. It’s hard getting through the last few miles (especially if you’ve just come out of Hains Point, ugh!). But with the everlasting cowbells, screams from the megaphone, and trap music blasting from the speakers, we kept all of our BTG runners going.

4. Matt Crowd Surfing…
You had to be there for this one, but it was straight out of a movie (LOL). In true DRC fashion, we partied after the parties. Towards the end of the after party at U Street Music Hall, Matt decides to take a chance and jump into the hands of the crowd that was screaming right by the stage. It was an unforgettable moment that will surely go down in BTG history. The amount of trust that it takes for someone to do that? A lot. Well, at least you know we have your back, Matt. Literally…

3. Charlie DJing…
Music is very much a part of DRC. We have it on all of our runs, whether it’s blasting from Cheer Squad or from one of the captains’ backpacks. So, it was only natural that Charlie, founder of Run Dem Crew and co-founder of BTG, hopped on the ones and twos at the after party. Also, thanks to Charlie for talking to the crews about what Bridge the Gap is all about. It was an honor for him to be there with us!

2. A BTGDC Proposal…
After we took our routine post-race pic, Jason, one of our DRC captains, starts making a speech. He wanted to let everyone know how great, strong, and brave his girlfriend was for completing this race. Mind you, Traci ran a 10-miler six months pregnant (yes, you read that right)! He then got down on one knee (yup!) and pulls out a ring! The crowd went wild and started to lose it (we don’t know how to act! Lol). Congratulations to Traci and Jason! Get that running stroller ready!

1.You…
Lastly, we want to say thank you. To Ashlee, Matt, and Corey…you did that sh*t. Thank you to the captains for stepping up every week and for these events to show everyone what DRC is about. To our membership chairs, your organization and leadership was greatly appreciated. Thank you to every crew that came out and supported this event by attending or from afar. To our partners, Under Armour, Oleo, and Goûter, you helped to enhance our event. You were the icing on the cake! Shout out to all the venues that believed in and supported our vision: Penn Social, Union Market, Wunder Garten, Potomac River Running, and U Street Music Hall. And to anyone else who has been a part of this movement, we don’t have enough words to show our gratitude. Without you, there is no us. We hope that everyone had a good experience, and we are blessed to be a part of the BTG family.

We live, babyyyyy!