Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll surely tell you about a time (or two or three) I convinced them to do something they thought was scary or had no intention to do at all. It’s not because I enjoy bugging people, although I suppose that depends on who you ask, but it’s because I love, love, love the amazingness that happens when someone tries something new.
When I find something I’m passionate about, I want to share it with anyone and everyone! And what gets me most excited is a physical challenge. Finding new ways to be active, break a sweat and move is super-fun, and I love dragging my friends, colleagues and strangers along for the ride. The more, the merrier— always.
So you can imagine my excitement when, several years ago, the run crew movement came full force to Toronto. Seeing all these groups pop up—with their own unique vibes, running through different areas of the city—was really cool, and I wanted to join in.
Soon enough I was out running with the different crews, exploring new routes and meeting a ton of awesome people. It was so much fun! So much so that I decided to start a new crew.
The idea was simple, actually: I just wanted a group that was closer to home so I could explore my own neighbourhood and meet new runners in my area. I wanted to share that culture and feeling of community that the other crews had so organically created, and bring that to my backyard. And from that, the West End Run Crew (WERC) was born.
Starting WERC has been one of the best experiences of my life. Every Wednesday, this amazing group of people comes together, “wercs” hard and pushes one another to be better individuals. Our crew is made up of runners with a wide range of experience and goals, but the objective is to just get out there and try your best. There’s no predetermined route or distance; we collectively decide, then off we go. Some people run between 10 and 12 kilometres, while others opt for a leisurely 1 km. Regardless, we all head out together, then wait for one other and celebrate another incredible run.
Feb. 3 marks one year of running in the west end, and I am so grateful to be a part of this beautiful group. As we look ahead, I’m most excited to give back to the community we live in and run through. We truly are stronger together, and 2017 is going to be one for the books—so stay tuned.
We invite and encourage runners of all skill levels to join us! We truly love having new people come out, and we guarantee you’ll feel the love. The crew runs on Wednesdays at 7:15pm and Saturdays at 10am out of the NXT condos at 103 and 105 The Queensway, Toronto.