August 09th, 2021 | Char Binns
The prevailing idea of “A Runner” is still reinforced by running brands, magazines and industry leaders. If you don’t fit the mould, does that make you any less a runner? Of course not!
Everyone is welcome at Bookhounds, whether or not you fit the stereotype. In fact, we’re breaking the mould. We’re here to champion the full diversity of our running community.
So give your Instagram feed a makeover, with a little help from these 15 ace runner accounts.
Personal Trainer and ultra runner Deo Kato is running 10km everyday for 381 days to champion racial justice and equality. Deo, and other runners he has inspired, are using their bodies to protest against racial injustice, moving for as many days as possible and recording their activities as a form of protest.
Lake District based trail runner and photographer Toby clambers over the fells with three beautiful Border Collies in tow, to capture some truly beautiful scenery. Trans representation is sorely lacking in our sport, so it is great to see a trans person living their best life up on the mountain trails.
Co-founder of Black Trail Runners, Sabrina Pace-Humphreys is pushing for greater representation for people of colour within the trail running community. This grandmother is also an ultra runner, personal trainer and coach. Plus, we can’t wait for her book to drop sometime later this year.
Run Leader Taz is on a mission to show that wearing a hijab is not a barrier to being physically active. She encourages women from all cultural backgrounds to get outdoors and be active, co-leading Wycombe Women’s Run Club. Taz’s challenge for 2021 is to run her first ultra marathon.
Founder of culinary running crew LDN Brunch Club, Stephen is a marathon runner turned triathlete. Stephen cites his ongoing running challenges as: to qualify for Boston Marathon, the final World Marathon Major on his list, meaning he’d then become a Six Star Finisher! Follow his journey in fitness, nutrition, recovery and mindset.
Of all the running books we’ve read (and we’ve read A LOT) we’re yet to find any written by an out LGBTQ+ runner. So we love that amongst cool training shots there are out and proud photos of Elsey Davis (akak Eleanor Whyman-Davis) and her wife on this feed. As well as being an international athlete, Elsey is an NHS doctor; what a shero!
After surviving the darkest days of his life, fighting undiagnosed mental health issues, Tom found salvation in running. Now he works to break the taboo around mental health and has created a platform for self-help, support, motivation and inspiration. In May this year, Tom is taking on a fresh challenge, running the 267 mile Pennine Way.
After running a 10km with two friends, Matilda set-up Fly Girl Collective to celebrate and promote diversity and representation in fitness. The group provides a safe space for Black and Brown women to come together to enjoy getting fit and supporting mental wellbeing. Matilda is also an excellent writer, regularly contributing to Runner’s World and other publications.
Sam Holness describes himself as an Autistic Ironman Triathlete. His Instagram feed highlights his dedication to becoming a pro-triathlete while inspiring neurodiverse people to take up sport and fitness. Sam says that for him, autism is a strength, and he believes that athletes from any background can become great triathletes.
Mira Rai is an unlikely superstar from rural Nepal who, with minimal formal training, has become an ultra running legend. Mira has set up a foundation to help other Nepali girls find their direction through running. In her Instagram posts you can expect to find her huge smile and incredible Himylayan trails.
What started as the Fat Girl Running blog, Mirna Valerio has been catapulted into sports stardom as a writer, speaker and brand ambassador. From running ultras, Mirna is now a one-woman world of adventures, cycling, hiking, snow-shoeing, you name it, Mirna does it. Mirna shines a light on the fact that runners come in all shapes and sizes and that “fit” isn’t a body type.
Corinne Humphreys is a Team GB sprinter and Stonewall UK Sports Champion. Corinne has spoken out on how, in the passed, she worried about her masculine appearance and the worry affected her running. She now calls for sports brands to put LGBTQ+ people at the forefront of campaigns to tackle stereotypes and misconceptions.
Ella Davies is a runner, football fanatic and ambassador for Changing Faces, the UK’s leading charity for everyone with a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different. An avid traveller, in a pre-lockdown world, Ella joined races all over the place and took part in the virtual Amerstdam Half last year. She’s also an Evertonian, which gets an extra thumbs up from us.
Chris Mosier is the first trans masculine athlete to qualify for the men’s Team USA and is credited with prompting the International Olympic Committee to change its policy on transgender athletes. As a professional triathelte and duathlete, Chris uses his platform to inspire other trans people to get into sports as well as to fight for transgender rights.
Verna Volka, founder of Native Women Running, told Women’s Running Magazine that “The whole goal was just to bring more visibility, positivity, and motivation among native women.” Native American women face disproportionate high rates of violence and murder, with running an opportunity for healing, health and of course, fun.
All images via Instagram.