Our collective is about more than just running, we want to give people tools for life
The Big Half is London’s community half marathon. It is both a festival of running and a celebration of the wonderful diversity of our capital city. In a series of features, we meet some of the people who are helping to bring London’s unique identity to the event on Sunday 3 September.
Nav Kiani is a captain for the Chasing Lights Collective, a community and movement group set up in 2016 which focuses on connecting the mind and body. The collective has about 25 members taking part in The Big Half in 2023 and are documenting their training on Instagram page.
Chasing Lights Collective was set up in 2016 as something more than just a traditional running crew. Yes, we are a community running club but where we diverge from other groups is we see it as more of a culture of training people and giving them a toolbox of skills which they can apply in their everyday lives.
We all have busy lives and, actually, a very small amount of our lives spent racing or even training. Most of the time we are in the daily and we want to provide people with the tools to help them through this.
We do this by incorporating key elements such as breathing, strength and conditioning and mobility into our training sessions which can be integrated into day-to-day routines. It’s about training differently. A simple example would be encouraging people to take the stairs where they can, rather than using a lift or escalator, and getting them to focus on their nasal breathing while doing that. Because if you do that in an everyday situation, then it becomes something more familiar to you and not something you only do in a race.
For us it’s all about a culture of training people. The collective was founded by Chevy and his background is working in the and struggling to get that work-life balance and that’s what we try to give people. The name Chasing Lights Collective this. Chevy felt the best description of trying to maintain that work-life balance was the ‘raging against the dying of the light.’ And Chasing Lights Collective is about running towards that light, to not give in and let the light diminish.
We have got about 25 runners taking part in The Big Half on Sunday 3 September and they have been on a 10-week training programme. Among those 25 people, some started the process not really having run before, some haven’t taken on a half and we’ve got some who have done marathons and even ultra-marathons. we have got people right across the board but what we are looking forward to seeing is the commonality between them all – what they are gleaning from the training process and what they are incorporating into their day-to-day lives.
It's exercise for us. We are calling it Project 13.1 and we are getting help from our partnership with the . We are documenting it all on our Instagram page and will make a short film about it afterwards. It’s something we’ve been thinking about doing for a while. The Big Half is a event for us to link it to because the event has such a community feel. I’m going to be at a cheer point on the day close to nine miles to give the team our support. We’re really looking forward to it.
To find out more about Chasing Lights Collective and to follow their team’s journey up to and including The Big Half, visit Instagram page.