Saturday, November 1, 2014

New website connects runners in central VA

Looking to share his love of running, local resident Josh Austin offers encouragement through the World Wide Web.

Josh Austin, founder of Central Virginia’s newest resource for local runners, has designed a website that connects racers with upcoming events.

This past March, while Austin and a few of his friends were talking on a Friday night, they concluded that there should be a website specifically for runners that would connect them to races, race results and information about running tailored to their location. By Monday morning, CVA Running was a functional part of the Internet.

“I wanted to create one single place to find out what’s going on with runners in the area,” Austin said. Austin expresses an overwhelming desire to connect runners and keep them plugged into community resources and events.

For Austin, running has been a love affair ever since he decided to start.

“Why did I start running? That’s a good question,” Josh Austin said. “I was severely overweight and I had to do something.”

Austin’s passion for running is contagious, as he explains that Lynchburg has actually been named the most “runner-friendly” community in America. So many people in the Central Virginia area are passionate about this healthy pastime, so Austin saw an opportunity to meet a need.

“Running is cheap,” Austin said. “You really only need a pair of shoes, and even that’s questionable.”

Austin feels that running is an economical way to lose weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle while helping residents connect with their community. Austin’s goals in creating this runners website is to unite Lynchburg, Va. with surrounding cities such as Roanoke and Charlottesville and eventually, to have each community take turns hosting a race weekend that would provide some healthy competition and a challenge for runners seeking to improve.

Sarah Levesque, a senior at Liberty, enjoys running as a pastime and has participated in numerous races in the Central Virginia area.

“I would totally use this website,” Levesque said. “This could be a really great resource for linking runners all over the area.”

Austin also stresses that CVA Running is not a website meant to reproduce the contents of other event homepages, but instead a website that has information about running that can also connect runners by linking to race homepages specific to the runner’s location.

“We don’t care about your terrain preference or skill level. This is a website for all kinds of runners,” Austin said.

To start using cvarunning.com, simply type in the address, visit the events page and check the calendar for races in different Central Virginia communities organized by terrain and distance preferences. CVA Running also houses a blog as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts that users of the website are encouraged to connect with.

Austin encourages runners to visit CVA Running before lacing up to connect with like-minded runners and enhance the Lynchburg community.

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