Oct 12, 2022 - News

Running with Miami Beach fixture Robert "Raven" Kraft

A group of runners jogs on the beach in Miami.

Martin joined the Raven Run crew last Friday. Photo: Susie Penders

Local running icon Robert "Raven" Kraft added one more runner to his ranks last week: #3577 — me.

Driving the news: I met with Raven in South Beach on Friday to interview him, but he persuaded me to run with him.

  • I'm not in running shape, but I didn't think it would be that hard to go 8 miles at a fast-walking pace.
  • Reality check: I was sore for three days and hurt my foot, but the experience was worth it.

Why it matters: As a reporter, I often write about the news from the comfort of my desk. But I wanted to feel what it was like to run with Raven and know him on a personal level.

The run: We started at the Fifth Street lifeguard stand, headed north to 14th, went down to South Pointe Pier and went north again to 35th before returning to Fifth.

  • For the run to count, you need a little hop in your step, Raven said. You can't just walk. I started feeling it in my legs early on, and I didn't think I'd make it all the way.
  • But the magic of the Raven Run is getting lost in conversation. When I didn't think I could go any further, runner Moonchild played Raven's song "The Road is Long" on her phone, and Raven lent some backing vocals.

Zoom in: Moonchild told me how she started running with Raven after seeing his group run past her while she was walking her dog. They were laughing and chatting and didn't seem to be going too fast.

  • When her internet research proved it wasn’t some kind of cult, she joined in and became the rookie of the year in 2021. She got her nickname because she did her first 8 miles under a full moon.
  • "I felt like I had won some major race, like I ran a marathon," she said of her first run.

Afterward, as I lay on the sand looking at the stars, I realized how lucky I am to be able to write about my hometown.

  • Then Raven gave me my nickname: Local Stories.
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