Socially Networking the Trails: Lexington, Nashville, and Asheville

I spent the day booking my reservations, which has only made my desire to hit the road even more pronounced than it is now. (I say this with one exception: Alabama. The park I was trying to book has only one phone line and no website. I started calling when the park opened, and 8 hours later I finally got through.)

Next on the agenda is tracking down runners throughout the areas I’ll be traveling. It’s easy for me to disappear into the World of Brad.

It’s a fun place, filled with stories and laughter and solitude. I’ve lived there for many years.

But I spend time there every day. This trip is as much about finding Running Self along the trails of America as it is my little Travels with Charlie, a wonderful book by John Steinbeck written near the end of his life. I have a long, strange history with this book, one that isn’t right for here. Suffice it to say, everything that exists in my life today does so because of that book. (This is not, as it turns out, hyperbole.)

I digress. The point here is to highlight the groups I’m trying to connect with along the way. I have no idea who these folks are. I’ve done a mix of Twitter, MeetUp, Facebook, and Google searching to track down running groups.

Thus far, I’ve emailed folks in my first three stops. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know. Without further ado:

The Bluegrass Runners: My first stop on the trip is a quick jaunt along the Legacy Trail in Lexington. I’m pretty sure I won’t get to hook up with anyone here, but the running site is amazing and they have tons of group runs. It almost makes me wish I lived in Kentucky.

Nashville Runners: I found this Facebook group, asked to join, and sent a note to the organizers.

Nashville Outdoors: MeetUp is one of my favorite sites to troll. For awhile, it seemed as if it might become the defacto place to find people. It’s turned largely into a political organizing tool; however, you can find a wide mix of folks here.

Asheville Track Club: This appears to be the most well-organized of the groups I’ve found so far. The group has a website, Yahoo message board, contact page, and group runs with the leaders. I’ve even printed out the group runs. There are 2 or 3 I have the chance to make. I’ll call once I get settled.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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