One of the things I love most about running is the camaraderie that so often emerges when people run together. Whether as strangers lining up for a race, as running buddies pushing through miles together, or as rivals, there’s an understanding between runners. As a runner, one often finds times when non-runners just don't get it; those are the times when forums full of other runners are a great alternative. People who understand you and your habit are one of the biggest benefits of the running community.
You see these same elements in online communities, especially ones for those afflicted by disease. Search the web for “online support groups” and you will immediately find nearly 300,000,000 results. From Parkinson’s disease to Crohn’s disease people are flocking online to find others who are going through the same thing.
The power of these online communities is seen in the connections these people form with each other and how they turn these relationships into opportunities to push forward research.
Where else but in an online world can different people from all walks of life come together?
Well, running. I don’t care what you do, where you came from or where you are going. If you are running next to me I am going to encourage you and help you along.