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Tom O’Keefe on Stride for Stride and making road races more diverse and accessible

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Tom O’Keefe is a social impact entrepreneur, and the founder of Stride for Stride, Heart to Cart, and Bostontweet.

Stride for Stride is a non-profit running organization that buys race bibs for immigrant, BIPOC, and low-income runners. Their goal is to make races more accessible and more diverse. Tom started Stride for Stride in 2018 after struggling to pay for race bibs and observing that most races lacked diversity – his assumption was that this was due, in part, to the high cost of entry. Since 2018, Stride for Stride has grown to over 60 avid runners from over a dozen countries. They compete in everything from marathons to 5Ks, and even a 50-mile Ultra. All but two of their runners are immigrants representing the following countries; Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the United States, as well as Puerto Rico.

Discussed in this episode:

Boston globe article on Bostontweet

Story of how Tom met his wife

Rosie’s Place

Sid Baptista of PIONEERS Run Crew on Social Sport

Black Men Run

Black Girls Run

Latinos Run

Dominican Runners, NYC

Heart to Cart

Impact Video Group

Donate here or text STRIDE to 44321

Quotes:

–“Races are the only sport where you’re running with the best of the best—the professionals, like Meb and Shalane. There is no other sport where you’re competing with them; you can’t play football with Tom Brady. The same thing goes for wage inequity. A CEO makes 258 times what the average employee makes, which is awful, but if those two guys run the same race, the employee could beat the CEO. How empowering is that?”

–“When you finish a race, you’re high-fiving everyone. That’s all you care about—that you ran. You’re just so happy for yourself and for everyone else. Nothing else matters at that point. You’re not thinking about politics or how much money you made…It changed my life, and I think it can change so many others.”

Follow Tom: TwitterInstagram

Follow Stride for Stride: TwitterInstagram

Follow Social Sport: WebsiteInstagramFacebookTwitterNewsletter

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