What if we said you could lace up your shoes, meet cool people, and stay healthy, all while giving back to an awesome local cause? Well, we aren’t pulling your leg. Social do-gooder, Tim Adkins, combined all these interests together and formed a homegrown running brand, Antilo Run Collective.
At its core, Antilo Run Collective is a social community of runners – raising heart rates, money, and awareness for local nonprofits. Based in Atlanta, GA, they’re shaking up the way people think about running and how people can use their blood, sweat, and neon for good.
There is always a reason to run for something, so we chased down Tim to hear about his latest venture, how Antilo helps fund Atlanta nonprofits, and why you’re still a good fit to join even if most of the running you do involves Netflix marathons.
Okay, we’ve got to know. What the hell does Antilo mean?
Pronounced An-tea-low, it’s the root or origin word for antelope (at least that’s what one Google search told me). I wanted to connect the brand with an animal (I’m vegan and an animal lover) and discovered the pronghorn antelope can run the longest distance, the fastest of all land animals. Scrolling down the Wikipedia page (so much research), turns out they run in groups. It was a perfect fit.
Tell us about ARC (not to be confused with the Atlanta Regional Commission) – Atlanta Run Collective.
I’m a board member of the Kyle Pease Foundation, where we work mostly with kids that have cerebral palsy or some sort of disability that keeps them from walking. Kyle Pease, the founder (and one hell of an athlete) has cerebral palsy and his brother, Executive Director, Brent Pease teamed up to promote the message of inclusion by competing in and finishing endurance races. I’ve learned that whether it’s a 5k or an IRONMAN, anyone can be in these races, train hard, and finish. What Kyle and Brent are doing is kind of the exact opposite of the Special Olympics. There’s nothing special, unique, or different about it. Everyone toes the same starting line and crossing the same finish line. Working with them and helping to share their story and mission has been incredible. By the way, they just finished their 3rd IRONMAN in Boulder this past weekend. Ya, I was downing Tropicalia like it was the last thing I was ever going to drink, and these guys were crushing a cool 140.6 miles.
So, that’s where it started.
Naturally, being a part of KPK, I started running. Pretty soon after, I fell in love with it and the culture – it’s a thing. I began to notice all of the organizations people were raising money for at local 5ks and marathons. They were almost all huge nonprofits, creating a huge impact, with huge budgets. That’s when I realized there was an opportunity to fundraise on behalf of the very small, very local nonprofits, solving local problems. I wanted to figure out a way to connect a community of socially engaged runners to local heroes who needed a little help.
While training for the Marine Corps Marathon last year, I was doing training by myself and honestly, it was pretty miserable. I would run on the Silver Comet Trail, The Beltline, or up off Riverside in Roswell for four hours and at that distance and that time frame, the mind wanders. I kept thinking to myself there have to be other people doing something similar to raise money for local causes and organizations, how could we do this together?
Enter Antilo Run Collective, a community of people that are socially focused and socially engaged to Run for Something and to some good. The thought process is that if we can raise $5k as a community for a local nonprofit, that’s a game-changing amount of money for some organizations, potentially life changing. I don’t see a lot of people trying to connect runners (of all levels – beginners to pros) to impact focused companies and organizations, and that’s what Antilo is all about. It’s more than just “Will you give me $10 for this cool thing.” It’s creating advocates who learn and dive deep into organizations, to really make a difference.
How does Antilo work?
Here’s how it works – ARC meets regularly every Saturday (looking to add an advanced runner evening run on Thursdays) and we run a real chill 5-mile loop down the Beltline. We grab a coffee after, sometimes we meet up for a beer, and really just do things a little different. You don’t have to be a member to run with us (although there are some pretty cool benefits to doing so), you can just come hit the pavement. Come hang with us and let’s see what we can do. Initially, this year I would like to do three races which would mean fundraising for three different nonprofits that are focused on improving the Atlanta community.
Are you still looking for nonprofits to partner with?
Yes! We are for sure doing one race with the Kyle Pease Foundation because that’s why this started. I’m a big fan of nonprofits like Hands On Atlanta (disclaimer, I’m the Director of Marketing and Communications there ;)), the Center for Civic Innovation, Community Bucket, Plywood People, Community Farmer’s Markets, Living Walls, STEAM Truck… I could go on and on. There are so many awesome organizations engaging young people to make a difference in Atlanta. I want to support them all! But at the end of the day, it’s not what I want, it’s the community that decides where our fundraising efforts go.
Why should someone run with Antilo?
Our whole purpose is to Run for Something. Find one reason to run. It could be a nonprofit you care about, a friend, a family member, or for yourself. There’s something that puts one foot in front of the other, run for that. Have a voice and be impactful, and join others that are running for good. Also, we’re fun as hell (at least I think so). We’re all about having a good time, enjoying the run, talking about the latest Netflix binges, new restaurants/bars to check out, or what’s happening in the city. I’m working on a speaker series, discounts to partner businesses, and access to special events and swag.
Long-term, I’d like to expand into other cities and create a national network of runners. Fun fact: In 2016, Runner’s World Magazine ranked Atlanta as the number 36 state for runners. If we are successful in the 36th best state to run in and can make an impact in our community, we could be successful in the 35 other cities that are ahead of us!
How can the community support you?
I am looking for you! Come join us one sunny, Saturday morning. I’m also trying to rally a group of run leaders. I’m admittedly not the strongest runner and I would like to grow it to be more than myself. Having experienced runners to lead the charge for certain runs is a huge help. I am also looking for speakers who have an inspirational story to inspire our community creatively and philanthropically.
If you’re a local business that wants to tap into our community, network, and support our members I’d love to chat. I’ll let the cat out of the bag, runners love coffee, beer, yoga, and good vibes (wait, that might just be me). Either way, I’d love to partner with some local spots to offer discounts and specials to our members.
Photos are property of Antilo Run Collective.