30 Good Things Before 30: #8 – #RunAtCan Community

I’ve had a Twitter account since January 2010, but signing up was really just a “keeping up with the Joneses” kinda situation. Same reason I signed up for Google+. (Anybody actually hang out on Google+ these days? Or ever?)

When I first joined, I used Twitter mostly just to duplicate my Facebook statuses, talk about my love for Ugly Betty (as per my first Tweet above) and occasionally tweet at celebrities I hoped would be charmed enough by my wit to whisk me away via private jet to their Beverly Hills mansions (still waiting).30-good-things-before-30

Honestly, I didn’t really get the appeal until this year.

And a big part of the reason that I now get it is #8 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30:

#RunAtCan Community

Most Sunday nights, runners from across Atlantic Canada curl up with their smartphones, tablets and laptops for the hour-long #RunAtCan Twitter chat.

It’s facilitated by the @RunAtCan Twitter account, which in turn is moderated by super-awesome creator @BTBogtrotters (whose blog you can find over here) and amazing co-moderator @epileptrik (whose badass backstory was featured in a Canadian Running profile here).

If you’ve never been part of a Twitter chat before, here’s how it generally works: the moderators throw out questions and everyone submits their answers using a hashtag to group them all together. Participants are free to respond to other people’s replies, asking questions or adding their own takes.

There’s lot of favouriting, retweeting and mentions. Your Twitter notifications will light up like a Christmas tree. Guaranteed.

While #RunAtCan isn’t the only Twitter chat I’ve been part of (I’ve done some mental health ones, some other running-related chats, and have even dropped in on one dedicated entirely to coffee), it’s the one I most hate to miss.

And that’s because of the people. The conversations are always upbeat. Everyone is encouraging, supportive, no matter your experience or ability.

It also doesn’t hurt that the group offers a pretty impressive collective knowledge of all things running–a wealth you really get to experience during the occasional open chats when the moderators send out questions from the community.

(You have questions? The #RunAtCan community has answers!)

Running is so often a solitary sport. We spend a lot of hours out there, alone with the sound of sneakers on pavement, our own heartbeat in our ears. Weekly #RunAtCan chats are a reminder of all the amazing, empowering benefits of running and a chance to talk about them with people who get it. (Let’s face it, your non-running friends don’t care about your fartlek workout and can’t suppress their giggles if you mention it.)

The next #RunAtCan chat is Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m. In the meantime, check out the #RunAtCan hashtag for a taste of the community’s camaraderie and silliness.//


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