Photos by Sam Canner

There are a few things that come to mind when I see A Tribe Called Run and it's not the crew that I notice first. It's the name. Let me explain. The name alone shows a deep understanding of hip hop and its culture and if you have that understanding of the culture you know and understand how it impacts our people, our struggles, our styles, and most of all our coolness. A subtle reminder while paying homage to the original hip hop kings Tribe Called Quest and yes if you read their IG caption and know hip hop you understand. IYKYK, A Tribe Called Run (ATCR) represents the Baltimore area and runners that represent the area. This month we speak with the founders of Tribe, William Walker, Salvador aka Chavo and Tiff Cecilie as we talk about how they met, their running journeys and most of all the creation of A Tribe Called Run.

MSM: The goal is simple; you all strive to bring focus and health to your community through all aspects of fitness and life. We'll get to this later in the article. When and how did all of you meet on your running journeys?

Will:  Ironically, I met Tiff and Chavo outside of running! I believe I met Chavo first back in 2017 or 2018. At the time I was the host of the Baltimore chapter for Creative Mornings, and he was in attendance. After that, we followed each other on IG and later discovered we were both runners. I met Tiff, not too long after meeting Chavo if my memory serves me correctly. Tiff was transitioning back to Baltimore from New York or Boston (someplace cold) because I remember it was the wintertime when we met. My friend and former schoolmate, Montier, introduced me to Tiff because we both had similar interests when it came to running, food, etc. Looking back on it, it's crazy to realize that I didn’t even meet these two in a running capacity.

Tiffany: I met Will in 2019 through a mutual friend. We talked running, of course, and then stayed in
touch from there. I met Chavo on our 1st Tribe run in July 2020. There were just 6 of us then. So
naturally, Chavo and I were able to bond quickly!

Salvador: I met Will at Creative Mornings Baltimore somewhere between ‘16–’18. He was the event host when I started attending. We clicked and started following each other on IG. Around 2015 I started running to lose weight and had been posting my journey. After Will and I became social media friends we saw we were both pretty active runners. One day he reached out and said he was going to get some people together for a run in Baltimore and asked if I’d like to join. I said yes (thinking it was going to be a one-time or once-in-a-while thing). Next thing I know I’m in Baltimore (almost) every Monday for ATCR NMAM. I met Tiffany at that first ATCR run.

MSM: We all have our specific reasons when it comes to starting our fitness journey which leads to all of us crossing paths at some point. We spoke about how all of you met but give our readers a peek into all your why’s and what got all of you started.

Will: I’ve always been an athlete, from roughly 6 years old to briefly playing football in college, I’ve always been a runner in some capacity. I would say that my interest in the sport of distance running roughly started in 2013, but I didn’t get serious until roughly 2018. I was going through a tough breakup and it was one of the few things that helped me take my mind off what I was going through. I told my therapist that I found clarity and things felt positive when on runs, so she suggested that I pour more attention into the sport whenever I had negative thoughts or moments. So running was a godsend in a sense to help me cope and deal with the loss that I was experiencing at the time.

Salvador: I started running around the end of 2014 or early 2015. I was weighing somewhere around 250–265 lbs. (I’m only 5’ 7 ½”, gotta throw that half in there! ¡Jajaja!). One day a high school friend posted a group pic of our senior year and that was when I finally saw and realized how big I had gotten (I was about 155–160 lbs then). Something in my brain said, “I can get back to that weight”, and that’s when I started running and taking a good look at my health.

Tiffany: I started running in 2017 in an effort to lose weight. Then I realized I was faster than average and
became addicted to competing with myself. Then it became much deeper. It became about
doing it for those who cannot. It became about a healthy lifestyle. It became about being able to
inspire others. It became about the awesome running community.

MSM: Most of us “everyday runners” don't have much experience when it comes to running in our past. Did any of you have any past experiences when it came to running or was it all a learn-as-you-go experience like most of us as we start running? What were some of the learning experiences that have helped you along the way?

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