In 2019, if there were a dozen runners in the group one morning, they considered it a major change.
But in 2020, as the epidemic spread and the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum across the country, Twenty-one people began arriving at 6 am, 30, sometimes 40 or even 50 on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Everyone is real and serving the same purpose; Dowell said it is diversifying the community in a different way than Charlottesville.
Diverse groups – black, white, latex, Asian-Americans, men, women, teens, college students, young parents with strollers, former collegiate athletes, retirees – mingled in the parking lot, to announce their departure. Waiting for Dodel. .
The first passengers to depart are called “cruisers”. At the two designated locations – both after steep hills – the fast runners wait for the slow ones and are happy, until the whole group gathers. Then, they start again.
Along the way, the resident apartments stand on the balcony, clap and waving. A big black woman greets the group every morning as she waits at the bus stop, offering a handful and high fives. Occasionally, residents move out of their homes to join the group on their route.
At the conclusion of each run, the group often gathers in a circle and many will speak. Most Friday runs are dedicated: One morning, they ran for a group member, whose son died in a motorcycle accident. Another Friday, the run was dedicated to a member whose aunt had died of cancer the day before. She has respected veterans, dalits and safety for women through themed runs.