MDR Selects – West Coast Runners

MDR Selects returns: a series that invites our favourite artists, labels, record stores and more to curate a playlist of songs that hold specific meaning to them. This time, we’ve gone left-field for a workout selection from Liverpool’s freshest running crew, West Coast Runners!

Created by three friends Kelvin, Michael and Tom, West Coast Runners is a brand new space for amateur runners to get together and set the pace around our cobbled streets, with a pub or gelato shop at the finish line (of course!). This September, they’ll be taking on a brand new challenge: The Speed Project DIY, a 31 hour relay race all in aid of Action Tutoring Merseyside. The team of 15 have collectively put together this playlist of  ‘songs to run to’ – ones guaranteed to get your blood pumping and feet moving. Here’s what Kelvin had to say about the project and the selections:

“Funnily, what makes for a great run isn’t all that different from what makes a great DJ set. You control the pace, avoid peaking too early and feel for exactly the right moment to turn up the energy and let loose. As music controls our moods and movements, this playlist is a reflection of those different moments that we experience throughout a run. It can be the mental distraction from tired legs that we take from Khruangbin & Leon Bridges’ breezy ‘Texas Sun’, or the dialled-in-focus and frantic pace to be found in syncing your stride to Shygirl’s ‘O’.

These selections have been pulled together by some of the fifteen person West Coast Runners team, including some of our Melodic family – radio producer Kate aka LUNA, Matt From Dell of Refreshments, and myself Leisure Deejay. We’ll be taking on The Speed Project DIY starting September 5th. Usually, The Speed Project is a radical and underground relay, spanning 340 miles from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, through Death Valley to the edge of the Las Vegas desert. This year, due to coronavirus, teams are planning routes in their home cities and using Strava to run live against the best running crews in the world. West Coast Runners will have 31 hours and 15 minutes to try and top the leaderboard by running as far as possible, relay-style, powered by the playlist below (and Nomad coffee!).”

The team are fundraising for Action Tutoring, an education charity that provides free tutoring to Merseyside pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, as a recent study by the Education Endowment Foundation estimates that school closures could wipe out an entire decade of progress in narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates. WCR initially set out to raise £2,000, but the campaign has already received such fantastic support that they’re now upping that target to try and raise £3,000 with two weeks to go.

Crew members Kelvin and Mike said, “We want to see how far we can take a campaign that has already inspired over a hundred people to make a positive contribution to young people’s education during such an extraordinary year – one that has presented immense challenges to school and pupils alike. Now, we need every last bit of support to make sure that when we cross that finish line after thirty-one hours on the roads, we can celebrate a victory for our team and for disadvantaged pupils in Merseyside.”

Read more and support West Coast Runners via GoFundMe: