Running is Awesome

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THE ONLY THING MORE BEAUTIFUL than Vancouver in the sun is Vancouver in the rain. And there’s no better way to celebrate our rainy, beautiful city than to go for a run in it. This week, I’m introducing you to Vancouver’s newest online running community and training crew: Runcouver.PLACE: Wherever you can run your heart out 

LOCATION: Vancouver.  

Have suggestions for UNPLUGGED this fall? Tweet me @amberturnau.

Running is a like a life transfusion. The gentle sounds of your breathe and running shoes hitting the pavement or forest floor. The pitter pattering of rain on your waterproof jacket. The silence and focus that allows you to calm your mind and just be in the moment. Now, Vancouver’s running community will have place to gather online to share this passion. Meet Runcouver: an online community for local runners. The motto: ”The only requirement is that you gotta love our city to the moon and back.”

I’m always amazed by go-getters. They have so much motivation and energy and they live with their hearts on their sleeves. Jillian Walker, an HR professional and outdoors enthusiast, is one of those people. You might know her as @JillianWalker on Twitter.  She founded Runcouver with the goal of bringing like-minded Vancouver-loving, run crushing people together to build the community.

Since January, Jillian has completed 14 races in both Vancouver and Victoria, including her first half marathon. But, it hasn’t always been that way for her.

“I was always stick skinny and used that as an excuse not to be active,” says Jillian. “Over the last 10 years, I have learned a lot about healthy body, healthy mind.”

Jillian has only been running for a year, but it’s changed her life.

“Everyday I am out there I am grateful for my health (Scoliosis included) and that I live in this beautiful city,” Jillian muses. “It is absolutely motivating and inspiring to be pounding the pavement or frolicking through the trails. Running has taught me to be way more patient — both personally and professionally.”

Now, Jillian is sharing her passion for pounding the pavement and Vancouver. Not only does Runcouver have a fast-growing Facebook and Twitter community, but will be updating the blog and newsletter frequently with race info, running tips and more. Jillian is also taking on a 2012/2013 Run Crew. These 10 enthusiastic women will work towards their half-marathon goal as a troupe; learning the importance of mental and physical strength and building body awareness.  The crew is already seeing interest from sponsors and the run goal will be Lululemon’s SeaWheeze race in August 2013.

“For the first time in my life, I feel strong. Strength is an incredible feeling. Your mind becomes clear and you feel ready to conquer to the world,” adds Jillian. “I look forward to working with the “Run Crew” in achieving their run goals and challenging the status quo. They are all incredible young women and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to coach them to success.”

Ahh… gratitude. Thank you to all the young women who have come forward to be part of this community. Thank you to Amber Turnau for getting to know what we’re up to at Runcouver and to Vancouver is Awesome for profiling my latest project.

To learn more about Runcouver:

Social Media Week with 6S Marketing

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Monday kicked off Vancouver’s Social Media Week! The event takes place from September 24th to 28th in 13 cities around the world!

Five events took place – yep, five – and another 25 will round out the week!

Tonight I had the opportunity to attend ‘Crisis and Issues Management in Social Media’ hosted by 6S Marketing.  A few of BC’s top companies came together to share best practices as it related to customer engagement, transparency and building online communities.

The evening featured Katie Dreschel (@kat_drex) from Telus, Robert Willis (@mrrobertrobot) from Translink, Rhonda Nowak from Vancity, Wayne Racine (@wayneracine) from LondongDrugs and Amber Turnau (@amberturnau) from 6S Marketing.

The always entertaining, Chris Breikss, Co-Founder of 6S Marketing moderated the panel.

In my opinion, the event was an outstanding success. The panelists did an exceptional job at communicating their ideas, representing their respective companies and engaging with the audience. The content was current and kept the attendees on their toes.

A few takeaways:

  • You can’t stop a social media crisis but you can mitigate incidences. Build a community, listen and monitor, respond quickly.
  • Be hyper-transparent; admit when you’ve made a mistake.
  • Use humor to turn negative encounters into positive ones!
  • Establish social media ground rules and a crisis management process. Be proactive and talk through potential situations that could come down the line.
  • Set ground rules on your social media channels. What are your dealbreakers when interacting with the community (eg. swearing, abuse, threatening behavior, etc)?
  • Gain social media buy-in from senior management teams by reporting on success and failures, go beyond follower counts and clicks.

The experts continually reinforced that social media is about creating relationships, being human and interacting with heart.

Amber ended the evening with a quote:

”The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

– George S. Patton

The statement hit home for many in the audience, reinforcing the importance of being proactive in the social media realm. Build the community before you need it, focus on the positive and be prepared for the day when adversity comes knocking on your door.

Miss the session? You can check out the recording on W2 Media’s livestream page.

Interested in participating in this week’s events? Check out the schedule and sign up for a session!

Unable to attend any of them? Tune into the #SMWvan hashtag for the play by play.

Kate Weinburg, Amber Turnau, Katie Dreschel and Me!