It is with great pride that we announce that our Truckin' Runners facebook group has surpassed 1,000 members. Misty Bell Matthews, Carolyn Magner Mason, and I started this group in the spring of 2010. Misty and Carolyn were obviously the brains behind the operation. It was started in order to take advantage of my appearance in the December 2009 edition of Runners World magazine. I don"t think that any of us envisioned what the group has become.
Truckin" Runners has a basic philosophy. We are here to help each other any way that we can. The group is open to anyone with any connection to the trucking industry. We encourage walking, running or any form of movement. Our industry runs 24/7/365 and getting regular exercise is a challenge. We share motivation, knowledge, and experience with each other. We gain as much enthusiasm for a member who has walked a mile at pace for a mile for the first time in years as we do for a member who runs a Boston qualifying time in the marathon.
While drivers are the main focus, we hope to move the group throughout the industry. You have to understand that when we started there was no plan. It took us forever to get more than 30 members. We did have trucking media support. While we were at the time supported by Randall – Reilly and Truckers News, we were able to get a radio appearance with Meredith Ochs and Chris Tsakis. It all helped. Since then we have been written about in the Chicago Tribune family of papers and the Green Bay Press Gazette. OOIDA and Landline News have been especially helpful as well. The relationship with Freightliner has definitely been helpful.
Moving forward, I can see us reaching outside of our group. Jon Narron has organized the virtual 5k each of the last 3 years. Last year we raised over $700 for the Saint Christophers Fund. I envision us developing relationships with race directors around the country. While we do not allow most advertisements, we do allow each other to post race websites. Having truckers run local races is a great thing. It is a definite win – win situation for our group. I encourage drivers to wear truckin' runners T shirts or other professional looking trucking shirts when they run these races. The idea is to enhance the image of truckers among general runners. Many runners have a natural tendency to have a stereotyped vision of truckers. Having a trucker running along with them can destroy that stereotype. It also helps the trucker to become part of the running community. Now, if we could get local race directors to supply truck parking. That could be our next goal.