In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, Juneteenth weekend, National Men’s Health month and Father’s Day, the creators of Soca Run Festival (SRF) and Soca Run Nation kick off their annual Soca Run Mile on Sunday, June 17, 2023.
Participants will meet at 9:30 am and leave at 10 am from the Grand Army Plaza entrance of Prospect Park and finish at Bartel Pritchard Square in Prospect Park.
Soca Run Mile (SRM) is defined as the organization’s FUN RUN that was created to help inspire Afro-Caribbean communities to start their journey with health and wellness through walking/running. SRM is a one-mile course that has integrated the energy, music and vibe of carnival. This event is geared for all ages and families to enjoy by walking or running to the finish line where each participant will be given a tracked finishing time. The top time in each age group will receive a Soca Run Festival (SRF) award.
In true Soca Run fashion, Soca Runners will enjoy a post fete celebration where local Black vendors set up at the finish line. At the finish line fete participants and spectators can purchase food, apparel and crafts from local businesses to help circulate the Black dollar while enjoying the cultural vibe of Soca music from the world’s top Soca DJ’s.
When asked about his vision for Soca Run Nation and Soca Run Festival, Founder Troy D. Johnson had this to say, “I am not only the owner of YHYF Wedding Grooming, I work at a black owned barbershop in Brooklyn, I am a father, husband, carnival enthusiast, and a black man who runs. Being an avid runner and participating in over 10 Marathons internationally, every time I completed a marathon, I would realize that less than 5% of the runners in my running club were Black and I knew hundreds of Black runners. I couldn’t understand why more of us didn’t participate in marathons. In 2017, after I finished the Rock & Roll half marathon in New Orleans, I asked myself how I could merge two things that I love – Soca & Running. A lot of these events are not Black owned, and they are not geared to appeal to our culture. From that point on it was my purpose to make and own the biggest 5k run in the world that was geared to help and give back to our culture in all forms.”
The Soca Run Festival (SRF) was created to inspire the Caribbean and African-American community to improve its health and fitness whilst celebrating Caribbean carnival culture. The goal of the organization is to change the world of running and reshape the way people view Caribbean culture and fitness. SRF is the first run festival of its kind to integrate the energy, music, and vibe of carnival throughout a fun and immersive 5K course. The participants, aka Soca Runners, will enjoy live DJs spinning soca music as they run through 3 Fete zones: a powder zone, a flag zone, and a paint zone. Runners will then cross the finish line, aka “The Stage,” in true carnival fashion and enjoy performances by the best soca artists and DJs in the world.
Soca Run Nation and its exclusive Soca Run Festival not only promotes health and wellness for African American and Caribbean communities, but it also organizes special field days for underprivileged youth and gives back to Black non-profit organizations. Recently the popular Soca Run Festival has gone virtual across 6 countries and 18 amazing cities across the globe with plans for future growth and expansion.
For more information, please visit Soca Run Festival’s website at socarunfest.com.