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18. Ekua Cudjoe

Growing up the youngest of six children, Ekua Cudjoe watched her older siblings participate in various sports. As she got older, Ekua participated in almost every sport imaginable and, in High School, she competed in sprints and hurdles with the Junior Varsity Blues. Prior to graduating High School, Ekua stepped away from sports to focus on her education and upon entering her first year at UoT, she discovered she couldn’t compete on the track at a competitive level given her absence from training. Ekua really wanted to compete on the team, so her coach suggested she try throwing (both shot and weight) and eventually, she moved on to compete internationally in these events with great success.

Folks in the community appreciate that space and that place they can just be themselves and to run and to walk and so from then I decided to keep it going and ensure That I offer that space for anyone who Wants to participate

Ekua Cudjoe

When Ekua finished her varsity career, she turned to recreational running. Initially, Ekua was intimidated by the concept of running with a run crew, thinking she had to be fast or competitive to be welcomed. Ekua was also discouraged by the lack of Black Runners, specifically Black Women in run crews, so she created a space for them called Soleful Runs. The group encourages “movement from the mind to the sole” and offers varying options for runners of all abilities. Ekua encouraged new members to participate by either running, jogging, or walking! 

Realizing early on how much the crew meant to the community, Ekua took it a step further by creating guided runs like Blackhurst Tuesdays and Scenic Saturday with the purpose of connecting with the Black Community and paying tribute to Canadian Black History. 

To learn more about Ekua, you can follow him on Instagram at: @ekuacudjoe

To learn more about Pace & Mind, you can follow them on Instagram at: @solefulruns


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