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Ben Chan on racism in trail running, and holding powerful people accountable

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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. Today, 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.

Discussed in this episode:

Quote:

“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?”

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*Photo by George Grullon

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