By Edward Henderson
There is a special kind of freedom when you run. Maybe it’s the primal urge of connecting with nature and exerting energy. Maybe it’s adrenaline. Science and philosophy aside, the rhythmic cadence of sneakers to pavement sampled with the breath from your lungs is almost a hip-hop melody in itself. Dawud Hasan is in tune with this unique melody and will amplify it in the streets of Southeast during his second annual San Diego Hip-Hop 5K (3.1 miles) at 7:30am on Sunday, October 30th.
Hasan is a native of Queens, New York. You can hear it when he speaks and see it in his east coast mannerisms of innate confidence. He has been a San Diego resident since 97’ however, and considers our west coast oasis home. His love for the community is prevalent in his desire to see it become stronger and healthier.
“Five or six years ago people started getting heavy into total wellness,” said Hasan. “If you go around the nation, you see people running and exercising from the time the sun goes up to when it goes down. When you go to our communities you don’t see that.”
This issue is personal to Hasan as well. He’s had trouble with his own weight since he was young.
“I lost 50 pounds last year and gained 20 back this year. I’m also pre-diabetic so I’m fighting for my own life. We know so many people who have health challenges in our community and we shouldn’t have to go through these things … We’re here to break that cycle and shed light on what the rest of the world is doing and that’s moving into a sense of total wellness.”
Hasan believes starting with youth is the best way to break this cycle. The idea for the Hip-Hop 5K came from a conversation with his daughter. The run starts at ECC Park and heads through the community by way of Ocean View Blvd, 47th street, Imperial Ave, Euclid Ave, Logan Ave then back into ECC Park for a health festival full of live music and local vendors.
“The idea was to utilize hip hop as a vehicle to make this thing cool with the kids because it’s familiar with them.”
This year’s event looks to build off of the success of his first 5K. The American Heart Association also came on board to train 1,000 people in hands only CPR and give away manikins to promote passing on the knowledge. There will be a yoga class, a throwback hip-hop costume theme along with performances from national and local recording artists.
“I come from the golden era of hip hop when lyrics meant something and it was connected to the community,” said Hasan. “The MC’s were the voice of what was happening in the community. This is an opportunity for the people to speak in a positive tone and speak towards total wellness we need to uplift the community in this space.”
The purpose of this event is timely. 2016 has seen the passing of several hip-hop pioneers, most notably Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, who lost his battle with diabetes in March. Hasan encourages participants of all ages and fitness levels to come and get a workout in the way that’s best for you. The path towards defeating preventable illness starts here.
“We are at the dawn of a new age for our community. When the people come, they are going to get inundated with all of the different knowledge of how they can have an aspect of total wellness in their lives.”
For information on how to register for the Hip-Hop 5K, visit www.sdhipho