Run To The Source

Exploring wilderness and diversity beyond London

Feature type Video

Published Feb 23, 2022

Photographer Holly-Marie Cato

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, trail runner Martin Johnson set out to log a new fastest known time (FKT) on the 184-mile Thames River Trail, from the Thames Barrier in South-East London to the source of the river in the Cotswolds.

Much more than the story of setting a new record, Run to The Source documents MJ’s discovery process as he finds out about Black British history and how it relates to the outdoors. Through his own connection to the river and love of running, we discover what the outdoors means to him and why many Black and Brown people feel so alienated from it.

‘Exploring the outdoors is enriching physically, emotionally and socially but history has created inequality and barriers which combine to prevent many people of colour from forming relationships with the outdoors, or even discovering it at all,’ says Johnson. ‘I hope Run to the Source might prompt viewers to seek out some of the lesser known and shared histories of the lands around us, which have shaped our societies and the layers of privilege which exist within them.’

From sea to source, the Thames River Trail is a route symbolic of empowering and enabling people from ethnically diverse backgrounds living in cities to explore the outdoors and wild places.

history has created inequality and barriers which combine to prevent many people of colour from forming relationships with the outdoors

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