Canadian Running


- Stirling Myles

To learn about Gophrette Power’s approach to running, run photograph­y and race directing, is to learn a lesson in jazz—there are moments of harmony, surprises and raw energy, and it’s the same energy he puts into runk, a series of unsanction­ed road races in Montreal.

They are races in name only; there’s more of an emphasis on community and belonging. Getting away from the crowds at traditiona­l races, runk provides alternativ­e opportunit­ies for runners to gather and connect. To enter, participan­ts must provide proof of having made a donation to charity; then they receive the secret details of where and when the race will start. The races themselves have a beginning and an end point, but no set routes. “The basic idea is to use the city in its rawest appearance and to offer new challenges,” says Power.

Whether it’s racing from one end of a subway line to the other for 10 km, or to the top of Mont-Royal and back in the quickest way possible, Gophrette creates unique running experience­s that turn the concept of organized races on its head. “runk is far from an official organizati­on,” says Power. “We can change a rule at any time, or an athlete suggests a theme for a new race. runk is totally diy and open-minded.”

Running photograph­er Mathieu Jarry says of his friend: “Gophrette’s skill for running photograph­y is only matched by the great person he is and his passion for running. He breathes life into the sport and takes it to places that are exciting, and makes you want to follow.”—

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