Yesterday, Jon Lyons, founder of the popular Facebook group Run215 (which is now much more than a Facebook group, with a website, free fitness events like #NIGHTSHIFTPHL, and more) announced via Facebook — naturally — that the nearly 9,000-person Run215 Facebook group will “go permanently dark” on Tuesday, May 23rd.
If you just let out a “NOOOOOOOO,” you are not alone. Lyons’s post has over 81 comments, some thanking him for the community he’s created for Philly runners and others, um, for lack of a better word, whining about his decision.
So, why is the group, which has become a go-to resource for runners, shuttering? Well, as Lyons explains in his Facebook post, the group, started in 2014, has grown from 300 members to nearly 9,000. And 9,000 people typing away at their computers is lot for a guy with an actual job that isn’t just moderating Facebook comments to deal with, even with the help of additional group admins. “Managing a community of almost 9,000 people is difficult, even unsustainable,” he says in the post. He goes on to say, “Surely there is SO much awesome stuff happening on the page, but it seems that more and more the content being posted is drifting so far from what the group page originally was — a resource for runners to connect with one another and uplift the community through positive support and engagement, not a ‘Yelp’ for the running community. It is for this reason that on Tuesday, May 23 the RUN215 Group page will go permanently dark (the official page will remain).”
The official page is the Run125 Facebook page here, where Lyons says runners will find daily threads that they can chime in on. The Instagram, Twitter and website will also live on. All that’s changing — and, admittedly, it’s a big change — is that there will no longer be a group page. The good news, though: Toward the end of the post, Lyons says, “I will instead be shifting my focus towards supporting this amazing community via more FREE fitness programming and positive community activism with a bunch of different partners (more information coming).” Meaning: You’ll have more opportunities to connect with your Run215 friends IRL. And isn’t that a great thing?
Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: