In the know with Richard Issa Bockari

Let’s just simply start with, this is one of the coolest guys you’ll ever come across in the running community AND, if you want to be in the know for any big marathon weekend then you need to know Richard Issa!!! Richard has his ear to the ground for everything that’s happening in the run community so why not talk to the guy that’s in the know about all he knows and what he knows about running.

MSM: So as the creator of Mid Strike Magazine my eyes and ears are always open and at times I tend to come across some cool convos and people, where I’ll say to myself okay that was interesting. Needless to say, there was a podcast I heard months ago where I was like ok he’s cool got to talk to him. We’ll get to that podcast later so for now here we are lol. Quite simply how are you, how are things and let’s get a small intro into Rich Issa.

RI: Every day is a good day my good brother. At least that’s the case for me haha. Well, my name is Richard Issa Bockari. Shocking to many, Issa isn’t my last name. Just my middle.  Ummm, I’m from South Jersey about 15 mins from Philadelphia. I’m Agnes and Richard’s son. Julie and Jenneh’s brother. Jada and Rylee’s uncle and called myself the Moses of Philadelphia running so I will mention that any chance I get!

MSM: We crossed paths albeit briefly while in London BUT that’s when I said OKAY this guy is in the know. You were everywhere, hosting, running, partying etc. mainly with the Tracksmith team. Let’s chat about that collaboration for a bit. How did that partnership come about, from what I’ve noticed they’re giving the everyday runners a space to simply be themselves and do what they do best, represent themselves and the community. 

RI: Tracksmith is amazing. I’ll scream that from any mountain top. I’m not sure if you know this or not but I work for Tracksmith.  Like, it’s my full-time job.  I’m on the customer experience team and dabble on the community side here and there which is where my heart is. We really do pride ourselves on building community in genuine ways which is pretty much the core of everything I have going on when it comes to running so when I say I LOVE my job just know I mean that. I love working for Tracksmith, I love my Tracksmith family and can’t wait for everything we have coming together.

MSM: Running seems to have opened so many opportunities for you across the globe, let’s go back a little bit to the beginning. Where/when did you find yourself falling in love with running?

RI: I started running back in 2015 when I was trying to get an ex-girlfriend back. I’ve said that story a million times so will spare you all but let’s just say I was super unsuccessful with those efforts but what I gained was a new love and that is with this running stuff.  The Philly 10k in August of 2015 was my first ever race and after that the addiction just grew. First it was about being in competition with myself.  “Oh, that was cool but I need to find another 10k and run it faster” and I did that. Then it was “Let me try a half marathon” and I did that. Then it was “Let’s see if I can run a half marathon faster”. And I did that.

As time went on and I became less of a psycho the focus started shifting to bringing people together and building community and that’s when I started my own run crew.

MSM: It’s one thing to fall in love with running but it’s even better when you find the community, gain some friends, extended family etc. I saw a post of yours a while back and it resonated with me a bit “Race a mile with some folks. It was fun, but the support of my friends and coworkers had a thug about to shed a tear”. That right there shows how important it is to find that team and support in running without it our journeys would be so difficult. For our readers, give us some insight into the importance of having that community support.

"Organic is a big thing for me when it comes to relationships and that’s how we have grown and built iRC. I fully understand that we are not for everybody and that is cool."

RI: I think having community is extremely important. And I’m pretty sure anyone who is involved in this global run community can agree. I understand folks like running alone for whatever reasons they have but you and I know, just a random example, there’s NOTHING better than running a race and whether it’s going great or complete shit you get to the point where a cheer section is located, and folks are screaming for you like you’re about to win gold at the Olympics. And let’s just say you aren’t running. We all know the saying “If you aren’t running, you’re cheering” and trust me that’s just as great of a feeling. Just supporting one another in any way possible. It’s really a beautiful thing. That was a long answer lol

MSM: As we’re on the topic of community, let's talk about the one that you're continuing to build in the Philadelphia area, Issa Run Crew, very creative by the way LOVE IT. When was IRC founded and what are some of the ways/things that you’ve done to continue to build that community through running.

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