The beauty of running is its universal accessibility. So long as you can stand upright, you can run. All people of all ages of all builds can partake in one capacity or another and, in the sporting world, it is the great leveller. It’s also the most natural of athletic activities. There’s no knack to it or learning curve, just plant one foot in front of the other in quicker succession than you would a stroll and you’ve mastered the basics.
Further to being the easiest sport in the world, it’s also one of the most exhilarating. Its simplicity and ease allow for an infinite change in dynamic. A runner’s arena isn’t limited by white lines or out of bounds zones. There are no positional restrictions or special teams, just will, stamina and the horizon.
Going on a run can be the most therapeutic activity in the world. With a good set of songs to soundtrack each stride and a serene setting, it’s a veritable psychological cleanse. Such is the awesome versatility of running; you can flip the script completely and run in as many numbers as you can muster. Pair up with someone and that solitary pilgrimage into the deepest recess of your being becomes a scene from a buddy movie. Intrinsic turns interpersonal and whether your unaccompanied jogs are wistful or wilful, the whip of rivalry is not easily shirked. The great thing here though, is that the inferior of the two gains just as much as the better athlete. Both runners bond and thrive.
However, it’s when you start running in groups that things start getting really interesting. Strangely, the competitive aspect diminishes and comradery begins to really shine through. Pack mentality takes over and – as a pack is only as fast as its slowest member – a collective rousing reverberates through each member. We can all name individual runners who have achieved great personal accolades but the causes of people running en masse tend to have a lot more meaning. There’s something very special about a collective spirit setting out on a trail to fight cancer together or raise money for children.
Again, the beauty of it is that most anyone can take part, regardless of prowess. It’s an activity that seems to inspire a universal reaction – through participation or donation. You may not be a lauded gold medallist, but the sense of personal achievement more than matches the pride of team involvement. It’s the collective strength that drives the waning runner, though. The sensation of pushing on for a greater goal than self-fulfilment - greater than duel rivalry – makes collective running such a viscerally bonding exercise. If two is company, any more is a tribe.
Having completed 39 marathons in a blistering 30 days, it’s fair to say the people behind Tribe know a thing or two about running. Guy Hacking and his initial tribe ran 1000 miles across nine countries in Eastern Europe to help the fight against child trafficking. Some 250 random supporters followed them on various stages of their run; it was a marvel of Gump-esque proportions. There’s nothing like a solid cause to put a bit of fire in the belly and some wind to the sails when you’re setting out on a run and theirs was divine. The contingent taking part dubbed the project ‘Run For Love’ and it was out on the road that the genesis of Tribe took root.
Hacking and his team found that their performance and mood was greatly affected by what they had eaten the night previous. Privy to this integral variable, they began making their own trail mixes. Core foods made up of essential food groups and vitamins replaced empty calories and fleeting energy supplements. This gastronomical efficiency made their feat infinitely more accomplishable. Guy Hacking wants to inspire everyone to take up running and join their tribe.
“Anything is possible if you want to do it and it’s all about making that first step.”
These trail mixes that fuelled their 39 marathons (and many runs beyond) are available to all who count themselves among their tribe. Nutrition plans are curated for runners of all standards to help them train stronger.
It’s funny; as food technology has advanced and the makeup of our snacks has become warped beyond the layman’s comprehension, we’ve turned to back to simpler alternatives. We’ve regressed synthetically, but are now embracing the unrefined – the organic. Tribe’s trail mixes are made up of all natural ingredients. They’ve done away with refined sugars and sulphites and instead, opt for wholesome nutrition. A complicated food component isn’t necessarily better and their approach has been proven through centuries of consumption.
Tribe have experts at hand to refine their food plans and make up bespoke packages. So whether you’re training for a marathon, trying to hit that 10k a week regimen, just starting to get in shape or easing yourself out of recovery, the people at Tribe offer a tailor-made pack.
At its core, Tribe is a running community. It’s about a collection of people motivating each other and pushing themselves forward. They are proponents of what running is, in essence. That first jog after a period of idleness can be the hardest step since infanthood, but Guy Hacking and his Tribe are there to drive you on. Whether you’re running alone or in a large group, get tribal with it.
Features Editor | SAMSON