RVA gains another fan

October 29, 2013 · 1 minute read

We’re in the final stages now of the revamp and re-launch of RichmondOutside.com. I’d like to say it’ll happen sometime late next week, but don’t hold me to that. Among the many tasks associated with making this website the go-to resource for outdoor recreation lovers in the RVA, has been forming partnerships with like-minded folks and businesses in the area.

5117MxRQidL._SY445_Last week, for instance, I met up with Patton Gleason at Crossroads coffee shop for lunch. Gleason is the owner of OptimalRun.com, which sells shoes and running accessories online. He also gives  running seminars and coaches individuals. Soon he’ll be launching a business offering running tours of Richmond. The dude doesn’t have much spare time, as you can see, but he’s agreed to write a monthly running piece for RichmondOutside.

During our lunch, Gleason told me a story that drove home for me why I’m so excited to pour my energy into this site. If you’re a runner, you’ve probably heard of Christopher McDougall. If not, maybe you’ve heard of his book — Born to Run. It became a mini-sensation when it was released back in 2011. Well, McDougall was in town two weekends ago for the James River Writers Conference. When Gleason saw that (via Twitter), he Tweeted McDougall asking if he wanted to go for a run that Saturday. He figured it was a long shot, but McDougall said yes. Gleason gathered 40 of his closest friends and they all took McDougall on a four-or-so-mile mini running tour of Richmond, starting and ending downtown. Here was McDougall’s Tweet to Gleason after the weekend:

patton, i spent the whole trip home mulling whether to move to richmond. the run was that much fun. encore!

It reminds me of when Chris Hull, Pat Calvert and I took Outside Magazine writer Jon Billman fishing and snorkeling for catfish near Pipeline Rapid.  He said about the same thing McDougall did  then wrote a paean to Richmond in the magazine when we were named Best River Town. The word is getting out.