Meet the first encounter of our portrait series, Christian Weigand, founder of 'Runners Highest' & 'Irregular Practice'.
This season, we aim to spotlight some of our best clients and deep dive into their lives. Meet our first encounter, Christian Weigand, the visionary behind 'Runners Highest,' an Instagram channel that captures the contemporary essence of running moods. We crafted for him a series of long-sleeved t-shirts & bottles for an event with New Balance and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Christian, who also works for Asphaltgold and leads the vibrant running community 'Irregular Practice' in Frankfurt, sheds light on how it all started, the sense of belonging within his community, and the exciting collaborations with New Balance.
Q: What's the story behind Runners Highest?
A: It’s a though one as it started not even as a project but a space for my personal running stuff. Runners Highest began in 2020, when the first Covid Lockdown hit Germany. I started running more, longer distances, and wanted to share my vision and view on running, without knowing where to start or to go. Also, I didn't want to annoy my friends with daily running content on my Instagram (well, doing it anyways today), so I initiated Runners Highest as a mix of a moodboard, blog, news feed and running diary.
I posted for a while, started connecting with fellow runners via Instagram, and at some point, the followers grew – from 1000 to 5000 and more. I didn't start it for the likes, but damn, now we’re more than 40,000, and it's amazing to work in the field I love!
Now, we're taking the next step into a more content-driven direction, focusing on contemporary running, sneakers, streetwear, and outdoor in general. It's not a magazine, nor is it a completely personal blog. I want to share what I love, from fast and sharp-looking running shoes, lifestyle-ish collabs to deep talks and behind-the-scenes insights.
Q: Tell me more about ‘Irregular Practice’ and how does it feel to be part of / to have built, a community?
A: Irregular Practice is the running club I created in my hometown, Frankfurt. I don't really think I built it; it was mainly natural. I think I always wanted to have a certain output regarding the things I love and by seeing running crews all over the world I told myself « I wanted the same ». So I just did the step, gathered the friends I already ran with and made the proposal to run together. Everyone was mostly running alone at that time, so I guess it was pretty cool to have a way to communicate with each other. In around one year, we've done 30+ social runs, organized events, and created a community. It's a fantastic feeling.
Q: Tell me more about the connection with a group and the sense of belonging in your community?
A: It's straightforward; we're not an official club with strict rules, trainings and stuffs. We're likeminded runners with different approaches to "live" running. Many share a nerdism for running apparel and shoes. Everyone is welcome, but we just don’t accept assholes haha. Also, running around town with 50+ runners, all wearing the same shirts, is pretty cool. The feeling is hard to describe but it’s motivating; whether it's raining or shining, whether you're lazy or not, it makes you want to go further, all together.
Q: What is your link with New Balance? We'd love to hear more about the events you organize with them.
A: New Balance is very closely linked to the contemporary running community, regularly sponsoring runners and organizing events. With my longstanding collaboration with New Balance, they trusted us to organize a social run. We ran through the western part of Frankfurt, ending with snacks and drinks. For the event, I wanted special clothes, so we contacted Merchery and created awesome long-sleeved t-shirts with an outstanding design. We also made custom bottles sold for Franziskustreff Frankfurt, offering daily breakfast to homeless people.