2012 was a pretty epic year for 3Run Parkour. With trips to Mexico and India, a highly acclaimed tour of the U.K., a performance at the Udderbelly in London and a catwalk appearance for Armani, the guys and girl of Britain’s most successful troupe of freerunners certainly had a busy time of it. On top of this, they managed to squeeze in a high profile public appearance to support a media campaign promoting ‘travel by foot” in the run up to the Olympic Games, with personal input from Boris himself.
3Run Parkour with HTC
Despite the huge success in 2012, we’re assured that 2013 will be even bigger. Courtesy of the good people at HTC, Love Extreme Sports spoke to Michael Wilson, member of 3Run Parkour and expert practitioner of the art of movement. We discussed Michael’s own experience of freerunning, his group’s plans for 2013 and the future of parkour in general.
The first thing that’s apparent when speaking to Mike is his huge dedication to his art. He is wholeheartedly committed to promoting freerunning to anyone and everyone. For Mike, parkour and freerunning aren’t just pastimes or even passions, they are states of mind. In his own words, those individuals who become hooked by freerunning develop “the eyes of a traceur”, reinterpreting mundane cityscapes as athletic playgrounds.
Michael Wilson, 31, was an early-comer to freerunning in the U.K. He started out about 12 years ago, having previously trained as a competitive gymnast. The transition from gymnastics to freerunning was an organic process. It wasn’t sparked by fashion or trends, but instead came about almost accidentally. Mike and his friends preferred to do their gymnastics training outside and pretty soon began integrating everyday objects into their routines. This eventually led to a successful crossover into freerunning, with Mike going on to become a member of 3Run Parkour, one of the world’s most popular freerunning teams.
For those of you who don’t already know about 3Run Parkour, get prepared to hear about them soon. According to Mike, the Reading-based team have something pretty big in the pipelines that should finally secure their position in the mainstream, but unfortunately the exact details are being kept heavily locked down for now. Putting this in context, 3Run Parkour have already undertaken some pretty epic professional work, including participating in the legendary freerunning scene featured in Bond film, Casino Royale, so whatever is on the horizon should be massive.
In the meantime, fans of 3Run Parkour can keep themselves well and truly entertained courtesy of HTC. The communications giant asked the team to produce a new video exploring the delights of freerunning in London. The video, Tales of Your City, was made using HTC’s One X+, which comes equipped with HD filming capability. In keeping with 3 Run’s ingenious approach to their art, the team devised ways of enhancing usability, including fixing the handset to a pole, in order to film at different angles. That said, Mike was clearly pretty impressed with the filming capabilities of HTC’s new phone, with or without freerunning friendly improvised adaptations.
As well as Tales of the City, the 3Run Parkour team are also releasing a series of freerunning videos from around the world. Set at some of the world’s most famous historical and cultural sites, the videos showcase the groups gravity-defying abilities in far flung, exotic locations.
According to Mike, travel is one of the biggest pleasures of being part of a successful freerunning team, which should come as no surprise given that freerunning and parkour are both international in character. A cohesive global community exists, which provides a fertile basis for the continued evolution of the art of movement.
For Mike, interacting with local freerunners in India or Mexico or whatever country the team happens to be visiting is always a pleasure and an education. They not only learn about the best local spots, but they also sample the local approach to freerunning. As a result, the team always feels instantly at home when they meet with other freerunners, no matter where they happen to find themselves. Many of the traceurs they meet on their travels become firm, lasting friends of 3Run Parkour, acting as ambassadors for the brand in their own country.
With so much in the pipelines, the future for Mike and 3Run Parkour is looking very bright. Understandably, Mike Wilson is incredibly positive and optimistic about the future. As freerunning and parkour spread like wildfire across the face of the planet, 3Run Parkour is poised to become one of the chief beneficiaries of its growth. The team is already widely considered one of freerunnings biggest global forces, but they are set to become a lot more in 2013.
3Run Parkour – Tales From Your City
Words: Al Cuin
Credit Line: This interview was arranged by HTC.