Long before last week’s SnowJam made it national news, everyone in metro Atlanta knew what a drag the morning and evening rush hours are. Some people carpool or take MARTA to make things better.
Josh Woiderski runs.
That’s right. He runs to work and back most days rather than drive. He’s not alone. And he’s telling a story that’s drawing readers, participants and even sponsors on his blog, theruncommuter.com.
Woiderski, 37, is a paralegal downtown and longtime long-distance runner. He started running to work a few years ago after a wreck totaled his car. Rather than buy a new one right away, he started jogging from his then-home in West End. A married father of two boys and now living near Decatur, Woiderski runs into Atlanta most days, more than 5 miles each way. He ran last Tuesday, when 2 inches of snow shut down transit across metro Atlanta, then took a slow-moving MARTA train most of the way home before giving up and going on foot the rest of the way.
RUN TO WORK? REALLY?
Absolutely! I love running and hate driving. Many people dread the idea of getting up an extra two hours early so they can work out, return home, get ready for work, then drive to the office. Run commuting allows you to get a run in while on your way to work, as opposed to in addition to commuting to work. (Check out his videos.)
WHAT’S YOUR ROUTE?
I run on the sidewalks of Dekalb Avenue all the way into downtown Atlanta. There are days when I’ll change my route, especially when I’m meeting friends after work in Poncey-Highland or Little Five Points. On those days, I may use the PATH or the BeltLine for part of my trip.
DO YOU SHOWER AT THE OFFICE?
I don’t shower at the office (mainly because we don’t have one). The “no shower” method consists of taking a shower at home before leaving in the morning, cooling down in front of a fan in your office after you arrive, using baby wipes to clean your head and body, dressing, and then washing your face and head in the bathroom. It’s worked just fine for the last five years. And I work in a business environment where I regularly attend meetings and court hearings.
TELLING THE TALE
I wrote my first post about run commuting in February 2010. A few months later I was looking at our website stats and noticed many people were searching the web for things related to run commuting (running backpacks, running to work, etc.) and it was directing them to our blog. I searched the Internet and realized there were no good resources on run commuting, so I created The Run Commuter to fill that void.
At first, I was happy to get 30 or 40 hits a day. And then something cool happened. Other run commuters from around the world starting contacting us. We asked them to write about their commutes and soon we had a handful of contributors from the United States and Canada. Now we have a site that receives hundreds of hits a day and is the go-to destination for run commuter information, gear and tips.
Manufacturers send me gear to review, and I even receive a small percentage from some online sales. It’s not making me rich, but it is a nice, unexpected benefit of sharing the story of something I love so much.
GROWING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s awesome when someone visits the site and it inspires them to start run commuting. And one of the most encouraging things to see is a coworker or friend who is run commuting already. So we hope that by sharing the experiences of new run commuters, along with helpful tips and guidance for those considering giving it a shot, that we’ll see run commuting grow exponentially around the world.
Soon after we created The Run Commuter, additional sites sprang up in other countries. These include Running to Work (UK), Running to Work (Spain), and Run Commuter (Netherlands). We loosely cooperate on a few projects, such as a yearly Run to Work Day and share experiences via @TheRunCommuter on Twitter and videos on YouTube.