Calgary has a brand-new run crew hitting the road on a weekly basis. Founded by Connie DeSousa, Top Chef Canada finalist and owner of Charcut and Charbar, Hot Behind Run Crew, launched at the beginning of summer. It was developed in partnership with Lululemon and geared towards professionals in the food industry who may not be able to join other crews due to time.
As most people that work in the food industry are busy in the evenings, it’s hard for them to join existing running crews. DeSousa decided to start Hot Behind because of this and modelled it after the Food Runners in Toronto, a run club that was also started by a chef. The name is kitchen inspired as “when you’re in the kitchen and you’re carrying something hot behind someone, you say ‘hot behind” DeSousa explained. While she originally reached out to Nike, she found LuluLemon was a better partnership and accommodating to find a time to schedule the run crew which worked for them.
Run crews have been growing in popularity in Calgary. Unlike run clubs which are concerned mainly with running and speed, running crews are more about family and bonding, while running is secondary. Crew is about supporting and elevating everyone in your crew, particularly newcomers, beginners, and making everyone the best that they can be. Comprised of ultramarathoners and novice runners alike, running crew members are out every week having a great time and conversing about their daily lives, and sharing training tips.
A unique aspect that DeSousa incorporated into the Hot Behind Run Crew was yoga. Being a new yogi and learning it’s many benefits, she wanted it to be an outlet for the runners of the crew to stretch and cooldown after their run.
After the run and yoga, the crew goes for a community building brunch. Being a food group, it’s a good chance for Connie and her friends to talk food and their favourite foods to eat/cook. As DeSousa also led a mindfulness dinner prior to the Calgary Marathon focused on what to eat and other ways to use food as a beneficial aid for runners and fitness junkies, she’s a good source for learning how to fuel for running and fitness.
She has been advertising the crew through social media, eager to see more people join in. “Every week I’m so excited to see new faces. It’s the idea of creating something for the community and getting excited, especially for the East Village folks. Most who run with us live in the neighbourhood. It’s great to live a balanced lifestyle, which is hard for our industry. This crew helps with that”.
Hot Behind has been meeting Saturday mornings at the East Village Junction at 10 a.m. The run heads out from Junction 9 in Inglewood along the Bow River pathway to the Peace Bridge and loops back to Simmons Building where they start a relaxing and peaceful yoga class along the river walk.They’re running through till October and will see what attendance is like in the colder months to see if the crew continue in in the fall.
Be sure to follow Hot Behind Run Crew on Instagram @hotbehindruncrew, and Twitter @HotBehindCrew. They look forward to seeing you!