Get to Know Your Running Clubs - Back On My Feet - Atlanta
In this edition of Get to Know Your Running Clubs we chatted with Tanya Watkins about the Atlanta based Back On My Feet running club.
Want to learn more about them? Read on!
Hi Tanya! Who are you?
We're the Atlanta Chapter of Back on My Feet and we empower people to move from homelessness to self-sufficiency through running, education, employment and housing resources.
Tell us a bit about the Back On My Feet - Atlanta history?
Back on My Feet began in Philadelphia in 2007. The Atlanta Chapter of Back on My Feet was founded on November 11, 2011.
Back on My Feet seeks to revolutionize the way our society approaches homelessness. Our unique running-based model demonstrates that if you first restore confidence, strength and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move toward jobs, homes and new lives. We aim to provide practical training and employment resources for achieving independence; an environment that promotes accountability; and a community that offers compassion and hope. For all with the capacity to serve-volunteers, donors, community and corporate partners-we seek to engage you in the profound experience of empowering individuals to achieve what once seemed impossible through the seemingly simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.
Back on My Feet uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. Back on My Feet recruits members at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run 3 days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job-training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources.
Nice! what sort of runners typically run with the group?
Each team has varying physical abilities so we encourage runners, joggers and walkers to become a part of our growing community.
For all with the capacity to serve-volunteers, donors, community and corporate partners-we seek to engage you in the profound experience of empowering individuals to achieve what once seemed impossible through the seemingly simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.
Where/when do you usually meet and run?
Volunteers meet in the early morning at one of our locations and run between one and four miles with our members. We run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but the desired volunteer commitment is once a week. If you fall in love with the team (which, we think you will) then join us as often as you'd like.
We normally run around downtown. Occasionally, we run past another team and share hugs! On weekends, we meet up for unofficial group runs in various locations.
Where Are the Runs?
Currently, we are looking for volunteers at Gateway Center, Salvation Army, and Trinity House. Addresses are listed below:
Team Salvation Army | 400 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta GA
Team Gateway | 254 Peachtree St. SW, Atlanta GA
Team Trinity House | 21 Bell st NE, Atlanta Ga 30303
Everyone interested in volunteering with Back on My Feet is asked to attend an orientation. At orientation, we talk about our program and mission, discuss issues surrounding homelessness, elaborate on the role of our volunteers and answer questions. We will equip you with all the information needed to get started with a Back on My Feet team, and by the time we finish, you'll be ready (and eager) to get running!
Any cost to be a member/join?
Free for all. We only ask for members and volunteers to commit their time!
Back on My Feet recruits members at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run 3 days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job-training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources.
Is Back On My Feet affiliated with any events?
Back on My Feet - Atlanta hosts an annual golf classic, Meaningful Miles 5K race and Birthday Bash Gala in November where all proceeds benefit Back on My Feet - Atlanta's members and running volunteers.
Back on My Feet receives fundracing entries to the NYC Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon among others. FundRacing is an enjoyable fundraising experience that guarantees entry into your favorite or sold-out races. When you FundRace for Back on My Feet, we provide you with a race entry into some of the most popular races around the country and in return, you commit to raising a set amount of money that will go directly to the program. In many cities, you have the unique opportunity to run alongside the very individuals you are supporting. Hundreds of our members have completed marathons and some have even completed ultra-marathons!
Back on My Feet also participates in local races such as the Publix - Georgia Marathon and Peachtree Road Race. Additionally, we promote and participate in at least one local race each month.
Where are your favourite spots to run in/around Atlanta?
Downtown runs in the early am. We're out there at 5:45am; it's peaceful, but still gets you going for the day. We also enjoy Piedmont Park runs any time. On weekends, we normally run from the Edgewood-Candler MARTA station, Kennesaw Mountain, or Centennial Park.
Do you personally have any favourite local races?
We love Atlanta Track Club races! Several of our members have completed the Triple Peach, which includes the AJR Peachtree Roadrace, the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler, and the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon.
We have also participated in several local races including the Atlanta Mission to House the Homeless, the Midtown Assistance Center 5k, the Jeff Galloway Race Weekend, and many more! We look forward to forging more partnerships with races around the city this year.
Want to learn more?
Want to connect with Back On My Feet, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Find more runs around Atlanta
Looking for runs in and around Atlanta? The RunGuides Atlanta race calendar can help you find upcoming runs and running races in the area - www.runguides.com/atlanta/runs