Facebook group connects runners

Published 9:06 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chad Harrison (left) and Tim DeBord created the Facebook Group, “Chilton Runners” to allow runners to connect over the social media site.

Running takes motivation. Waking up early, sweating in the warm Alabama summer, convincing lungs and legs they can make it just another quarter of a mile.

Wanting to stay fit and healthy is motivation, sure, but another incentive is knowing that there are others going through the drill just like you.

That was Chad Harrison’s reasoning behind creating the Chilton Runners page on Facebook.

“It’s encouraging to see that other people are out there running too,” said Harrison, a Clanton resident and math teacher at Maplesville.

The group was created June 20 and has since accumulated 63 members and hundreds of posts.

Users post times and distances of their runs and also fitness tips and updates on injuries.

A separate page, Chilton Runners Events Page, was created to organize upcoming events.

“I knew some people from local races, like the Peach Run, and we’ve made new friends,” Harrison said of himself and co-founder Tim DeBord. “I really didn’t have any expectations on the number of members. I just hope it continues to grow.”

Harrison said he’s heard from some just getting into the activity who are reluctant to post information on their runs because they don’t stack up with the accomplishments of more experienced runners.

“I tell them to be proud of anything you do,” Harrison said. “If you run one mile in 13 minutes, that’s still better than everybody else who is sitting on the couch.”

Harrison has been running for eight years. He’s participated in several 5k’s and 10k’s and a half marathon. Now he’s training for his first marathon, scheduled for Nov. 12. He said he will continue posting on the Facebook page as a means of accountability.

Harrison is inspired by a T-shirt he’s seen: “Pain is temporary, but your finishing time posted on the Internet is forever.”