Journal powered by DOXA Run. Interview with Sven Abraham, co-founder of Run Pack Berlin.

We all have our reasons, why we ended up being a runner and for most people - being addicted to it.
All different personal stories that we would like to share with you.
We went to the capital of Germany and talked to Sven Abraham - Co-founder Run Pack Berlin.


- Sven Abraham
- Berlin - Germany
- Runner and Co-founder Run Pack Berlin - @runpackberlin
- IG handle @svnbrhm


When did you start calling yourself a runner?

"I started running in 2009. I can still remember the very first run. Together with a good friend we ran through a park in my neighborhood. That was about 3 kilometers. I felt really shitty afterwards. A Facebook friend saw my Nike+ runs on Facebook sometime and asked if I would like to join him and a few other runners for a run with a group called GRAVITEAM. They met every Wednesday at a Nike showroom. GRAVITEAM was one of the first Nike crews. Never heard of "running crews" and had no clue what it was. The condition to join the crew/run was however that I could run at least 10 kilometers without a break. At that time is sounded sooooo long. I had to train for a few months until I dared to run with the GRAVITEAM. I think after the first 10 kilometer runs I felt like a "real" runner. Took me a while.

Nike decided to cut off the money in 2012 and with that decision GRAVITEAM died. And a few months later Run Pack Berlin was born. We always met on weekends to train together for the Berlin Half Marathon. For many of us it should be the first real race. After every long run we were rewarded ourselves with coffee and homemade cake. As time went by, more and more runners joined us. It was time to organize the growing group. So we started a Facebook group, which needed a name. After one or two brainstorming rounds we came up with the name - Run Pack Berlin."


How does running affect your life?

"Running has a big impact on my life. And I am not just talking about health, but much more about social and professional aspects. Through running I got to know really nice people and made friends with many of them. It is exciting when I travel and find like-minded people in almost every country in the world. Especially when I can run with other running crews. It is just another thing when you run the streets with locals and get to know the city, culture and people. But I like it much better when I can connect people. When I know that my friends/crew members are traveling and I can bring them together with other runners and crews around the world. That is why I came up with the idea of Running Crews. RUNNING CREWS is basically a website about running groups worldwide. The core feature is a methodical database of international running teams. The primary objective RUNNING CREWS is to provide a tool to introduce running crews and connect runners from all over the planet. Runners will have the opportunity to find running crews almost anywhere in the world, that share the same enthusiasm and joy. We want to promote the awesome experience of getting in touch with other cultures, meeting like-minded people from all walks of life and run their turf with them and making new friends. RUNNING CREWS will serve as a hub for running teams and it is cohorts. It is about being a part of a transnational social phenomenon. The overarching elements are mutuality, acceptance and fun. Running unites."


What does the phrase "running culture" mean to you?

"That it is not only about running. It is the idea of a group of friends, a family, a gang not only running but cheering, drinking, traveling and hanging around together. You see certain involvement of any crew member. When you just want to run... You are wrong and you should go to a running club. In the end it is all about friendships."


New running communities are popping around the world these years, why do you think this is happening?

"Many crews of the first hour have made a name over the past years within the running community and thus carried that special feeling and attitude of running with friends into the world. On the other hand, Instagram has also had an indirect influence on the increasing numbers of running crews. Many runners got their own idea of the movement without being a part of it. All those colorful pictures on the web motivate runners to create their own crews. Another point is the increasing interest of the big sports brands, that not only build their own running communities locally, but also worldwide."


Do you have any specific core values for your Run Pack Berlin running crew?

"Our motto is "RUN WITH THE PACK - PARTY WITH THE PACK" and describes the essential philosophy and distinction from a regular running club. We love to race and every each of us has ambitions and goals. On the other hand, we do not take ourselves too seriously and would drink a beer right before and during the race. We are an international group of runners from more than a dozen countries. As open as we are, we do not include everyone in our group. But not for elitist reasons. It is not about how cool someone is but if we think we would like to party, hang around and travel with him/her then it is a match. If not... Not. Besides this, we want to see a certain involvement of any member. We are not just a running club. We are a crew/tribe/gang whatever you want to call it and our members understand one another, take care of one another. Social and emotional abilities are important to us."


A transition can be defined as a training program, where your mileage and speed are build to peak at race day. Have you experienced such a transitions or do you prefer to run with the flow?

"I do not have a trainings plan. I just run with the flow and try to hear and understand my inner voice."


One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, wrote a book called: "What I talk about, when I talk about running". So let me ask you; what do you talk about, when you talk about running?

"I do not talk that much about running. If I am talking about running it is about my journeys to other countries, cities and races. Who I met. What I saw. What I raced."