Alrick Augustine & Keep it Run Hundred Run Club
The running community is huge, a community full of personalities and runners all striving to bring out the best versions of themselves. It’s a process at times that becomes repeated. New runners come and old runners go. But every now and then we come across a runner that becomes a beacon within his/her run community. Someone that essentially brings everyone together so much that the change created has no choice but to become noticed. The Mayor of LA is Eric Garcetti but there’s another Mayor in the Los Angeles area if you’re a runner in the LA community chances are you know of him or came across him a few times. His name is Alrick Augustine aka Butta, he’s also the founder of Keep it Run Hundred run club and creator of W.R.O.K (We Raise Our Kids). Mid Strike is keeping it on the West Coast for a bit, let’s chime into Alrick’s run journey and the Keep It Run Hundred run club.
MSM: Most articles usually always start with the obvious, usually with the current state of affairs happening in that person’s life. We’ll get there, but for now let’s get into what life was like before Barack O Butta, before Keep it Run Hundred. What was life like for you pre run journey? What was it that drew you towards running and the community?
Butta: My run journey and fatherhood are tied together because one helped kick start the other lol. I always tell people that I was just living a cool life and was ok with way things were going. Not really driven or focused towards anything long term, just content with the space I was in. I had a decent job, I was respected in the city, got a some attention from women and all I wanted to do was party with my friends.
MSM: As you started running early on what was the it moment for you when you realized “this is it,” where you said to yourself running is something I can definitely do.
Butta: Running was just a hobby initially. A friend told me that I was going to run the LA Marathon and I told him he was out of his mind! 26.2 miles was out of the question…well that same friend helped me train for the 2018 LA Marathon and during that process that’s when I got the feeling that running is definitely something I could do. Being able to push yourself to points you never thought you’d get to, feels amazing! The first time I ran 10 miles I damn near cried because I never saw myself doing anything like that.
MSM: When did you begin this run journey? For our readers take us through some of the races you’ve run along with some of your favorites.
Butta: My run journey began in 2014 as a way to lose weight. Like I mentioned earlier, running goes hand in hand with the birth of my daughter. I picked up “dad weight” and had to get it off me and running was something I started doing because it was free and I didn’t want to pay for a gym membership. I ran my first 10k in 2016 and I didn’t take running serious until the fall of 2017 when I trained for the 2018 LA Marathon
MSM: I noticed you had Chicago in that bunch along with the LA Marathon which are pretty huge marathons. Do I see a 6 star medal on your radar?
Butta: Yup most definitely do…I’m coming for EVERYTHING!!!
MSM: The LA run community is very large. It reminds me of our run community here in NYC. Before Keep It Run Hundred what were some of the other run clubs you ran with and what were some things that you learned along the way as a runner and leader?
Butta: What’s funny about that, is before I started Keep It Run Hundred I never ran with any other club. So I had no knowledge of how run clubs even worked.
MSM: At what point did you say to yourself that you could essentially host your own community runs? What was the turnout like for those early community runs?
Butta: I’ve always done events and thrown parties in LA so getting people to support something I did wasn’t really difficult. With the run club I started this just to get my friend and family active and I never thought it would turn into what it has. My first run I had about 9 people and I was cool with that but as the weeks went on it just continued to grow.
MSM: Your growth and experience has all led you to creating Keep it Run Hundred. As a runner I’ve seen many run clubs but every now and then there’s one that comes along that has the heartbeat of the community. Even from my point of view on the east coast, it’s something that is easily noticed. As founder of the group what were some of the things that helped to mold the group into what it is today?
Butta: At Keep It Run Hundred I’m big on us being a family. We support, uplift and motivate each other outside of our weekly meet ups and it’s beautiful to see. So many bonds and lifelong relationships have been built through the run club. Where I’m from long distance running isn’t a big thing for people of color so to be able to gather with a group of ppl that look like you and are pushing you and uplifting you is a beautiful thing to be apart of. I tell the group that we tend to only gather in large groups when alcohol is involved so to be apart of something that’s helps to benefit you in a positive way with a 100 plus people every week is great to be a part of. At the end of our runs I open up the floor for people to share whatever they’re working on, business etc. I believe that everyone does something and there is someone in this group you can build with. If you do taxes, cut hair, real estate etc, someone is here that you can help or can help you. We don’t have to go outside of this family for anything because everything is here in this circle!!!
MSM: Did you ever think the following would be this large or that the community would be so drawn to the Keep it Run Hundred?
Butta: To be honest YES! When it comes to community, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. But our approach is simple: “there is no last place”. What that looks like is creating customized experiences for all my runners where they can grow and be challenged in a safe space. Previously I have done: The 5k on Crenshaw and Kids night which will continue once the world gets back to normal. Currently because of covid I have tried to limit our interaction to only Thursday nights, mask and social distancing required. Also, I host specific theme nights sporadically. These shared identity runs matters, because it takes the group beyond individual. For examples: Ladies night, in celebration of Women’s heritage month where I gift them with something after every run. The Los Angeles marathon has been reschedule to November 2021, my goal is to train 40 new first time marathon runners.
MSM: You’ve headed a few 5k community runs which have looked pretty epic, what are the chances we see you heading a race on a larger scale? Any 10k or half in the future, Marathons?
Butta: All the things you mentioned are definitely going to happen!!! One of my goals was to bring a annual 5k run to my area which I was able to do in February of 2020 and the way it was received by my community was something special. Runs are usually held in Beach cities or downtown so to bring one to my community was definitely one of my proudest moments. There’s so much more I have in store and I can’t wait to show you guys what I’ve been working on.
MSM: One of the things we try to do is leave our mark on this world. To create change that leads to generational changes within our communities. There’s one thing that can change perspective which is usually becoming a parent. This has a tendency to change our outlook on how we see and approach things we come across in our lives. For me as a parent you want to leave your mark not only on the world you live in but also pass those important lessons to our kids. I like to ask this question to runners that are also parents. What changed for you after becoming a parent, what things did you see differently?
Butta: EVERYTHING!!! It wasn’t about ME anymore. I mentioned earlier that I was content with the way my life was and wasn’t worried about what my next move or step was. My daughter changed all of that. She lit a fire in me that only continues to get bigger and bigger everyday. She is the driving force behind everything I do. Without her none of what I have going on would be possible. I’m just trying to set a great example for her and put her in position to succeed as well.
MSM: For a man like yourself a leader within the community, a strong leader is only strong because he has the strength of his/her team behind them marching forward together. Who are some of the folks that help you to keep the wheels moving?
Butta: I’m just gonna give a huge shout out to the entire Keep It Run Hundred family. If I got to naming names we’d be here all day lol. Y’all know I love and appreciate every single one of you guys! 🗣Keep It…(they better yell out the rest when they read this lol)
MSM: We Raise Our Kids (W.R.O.K) is an organization focused on strengthening relationships between Fathers, Their Families & Communities. Being a black father that is (present) is something I am always for as at times we are seen or labeled by other cultures as not around. BLACK MEN are present and we are doing our best to break cycles within our culture. What are some of the things you’ve been focusing on with this venture?
Butta: Our focus at W.R.O.K is to show that there are positive fathers in the community. We want to continue doing father/daughter dances, father/son brunches, Father’s Day picnics etc…
MSM: With so many ventures I’m gonna take a shot at this and ask, Is this where the alias of Mayor comes from?
Butta: It started off as a joke by some friends, they would always say that either I knew EVERYONE or EVERYONE knows me and after a while it just stuck.
MSM: What’s on the horizon for Butta. How can our readers keep up and stay in touch?
Butta: The world is opening back up so I want to get back to the mission of building my community up through running. We’ll be able to gather which means run events and races are in the near future and I’m sooooo excited about that. I can’t wait to bring back Kids night, which is a run dedicated to help combat childhood obesity. I have so many other ideaa want to share with the world but I’m going to keep those under wraps because I’m a huge believer in I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You
MSM: My brother when things ease up we will be sure to take the trip out to Inglewood and link up for a run, in the meantime from Team Mid Strike to you we are proud of what you are doing in the community as it is being noticed. We salute you King, Keep grinding and keep running.
Thank you guys so much for having me, I greatly appreciate the opportunity. Let’s continue to build.
MSM: Any last words for our readers?
Butta: I always tell people…Find something you love and give it everything that you have!!! You never know where your passion can take you!