I have just come across the publication of a manual for run-commuting developed by corridaamiga and The Run Commuter that I wanted to share with you. It is called RUNNING AS A MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: GENERAL GUIDELINES.
View on the original website: http://www.corridaamiga.com.br/#!manual/c1a3u
For those unaware of these two organisations, corridaamiga is a voluntary initiative that emerged in early 2014, as a result of the idea of “Brazilian run commuters” that aims to assist and inspire individuals to use running for urban mobility. The Run Commuter is a US based organisation led by Joshua Woiderski with the mission to educate and encourage people to replace, modify, or supplement their car, public transit, or bike commutes with running. Both great initiatives to check out.
I don’t have much to say on this as the document is pretty self-explanatory, offering useful hints and tips for those wanting to use running as a mode of transport. Just a few brief comments however:
- Firstly, it’s wonderful to see international collaboration on the promotion of running as transport. It certainly isn’t a phenomenon occurring in select places and only good things can come by such collaboration.
- Secondly, it is testament to the growing popularity of run-commuting that there’s enough interest for people to donate their time to create such a thing.
- Thirdly, I like that run-commuting’s characteristics as a bottom-up movement being reflected in the manual. About 30 people have contributed to the guide. Run-commuting is not dominated by a few key voices and all of those who do it have a role in shaping what the movement can be.
- Fourthly, my only gripe. It comes from calling the document General Guidelines rather than advice or hints and tips. My work has shown how run-commuting can be many different things to many different people. It is a mode of transport with the utmost of personalisability. There is simply no one way of run-commuting and the using the term guidelines very much sets up a manifesto like document, outlining what is or isn’t run-commuting, or claiming that the ways of run-commuting outlined the document are the only ways to run-commute. This is not actually what you find in the document but using a term such as guidelines certainly has such connotations.
- Fifthly, this also comes into play when recognising the differences in cultures of running and mobility discussed in the manual. Many of the tips emerge from the Brazilian context and some of these lack transferability. I am thinking mostly about the guideline that pedestrians always have right of way and runners should concede their mobility to allow pedestrians’ theirs. My early work has shown this not to be the case everywhere. Having it as a guideline for international use becomes a little difficult here.
On the whole though, I think it is a very useful document with some great potential for running as a means of transport and run-commuting. Lots of great advice there and I would certainly be interested in creating something similar as an outcome of my research. In time though …