Community. It’s good for nothing.

Community. I’m not a huge fan of that word. It’s jargony and empty – just a buzzword that makes us feel good.

Or is it?

On February 14, River City Runners (my run crew) held a 24 hour treadmill challenge in support of Hope Mission and the Tegler Youth Centre’s Kids in Action program. We set a big goal of raising $10,000; enough to buy new running shoes and healthy snacks for around 200 Edmonton kids.

We posted a tweet on Saturday, January 10 announcing the challenge.

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That’s when things went a little nuts.

In just 4 days (4 days!!) our event sold out. Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.02.53 PM

After the 1st day of fundraising, we had already raised $2500.

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Then just 18 days later we hit $10,000.

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Finally, after only 4 weeks of fundraising we hit $31,000.

No one in the crew expected such a rapid response to our event. Our crew is only a couple months old so we don’t really have a huge social media following or anything like that. Yet somehow, we managed to get 24 runners to run over 24 hours and raised over $31,000 – all in a few short weeks.

So how did we do it? Well, we didn’t really.

It was our early morning homies from November Project, new run friends from the track and twitter, the (literally) insane Blitz team, bendy yogis, lemons, brewers, bakers, juicers, and the list goes on!

In other words, it was you. Our community.

I hadn’t put much thought towards community before. In fact, I did tend to throw it in the same jargon bucket where I throw such awesomeness as synergy, transparency, low-hanging fruit, cutting-edge, on-brand, etc…

But the response to our treadmill challenge hit me smack in the face with a ton of community. And you know what? I liked it. I’m hooked.

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Now more than ever, I see why that word is used quite often around Blitz. In fact, they’ve focused their entire business on the vision of building the number one fitness community in the world. And I get it.

Community. I’m now a huge fan of that word. It’s fulfilling, inspiring – a powerful way to bring about positive change.

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