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Race Team RVA Running Club is on a mission to help people feel healthier, make friends

Posted at 10:36 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 18:23:13-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- If the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic caused you to gain some weight, you are not alone. On average, Americans gained two pounds a month while sheltering in place, according to a report in the New York Times.

Now the Race Team RVA Running Club is on a mission to help people not only feel healthier but make new friends.

The nonprofit is led by a group of volunteers working to help build a healthier community with year-round training teams made up of runners and walkers from all levels and abilities.

Dan Blankenship, the team’s founder and CEO said this year the group added trail runs to its training schedule.

"We really liked the idea of running trails, because trails also give you the benefit of being outside in nature. And it makes you feel you know, like a kid again," he said.

The club hopes to get more people outdoors and moving after a year and a half of isolation and quarantine.

"I think now is a perfect time to get off that couch and get out and do something, people, because of COVID, people have been locked up, they have been inside for too long," he said.

Erin Williams, the team’s president of trail running, said working out in the great outdoors with friendly people helps shake off stress, anxiety, and loneliness.

"You get into these great conversations, talking about everything from family life, to work life, to just solving world problems," she said. "We forget half of those answers, unfortunately, by the time we get back, but so there is this great bond that develops."

Erin said the friendships developed help push each runner to their goal and into tip shape.

"It is especially exciting when you spend all that time together and you get to race day and you see one another overcome the obstacles, the training difficulties, the miles, the minor injuries, just the fatigue and get across that finish line," she said.

The Race Team RVA Running Club has a number of training teams. Click here to learn more.