When Jannie Cox was visiting downtown Colorado Springs, Colo. in 2008 she couldn't believe what she saw on the street.

Even though it was cold and dark, hundreds of people were walking or running as part of a weekly event that drew them to one destination, where they would congregate.

Cox looked into it further and was inspired to create the weekly Meet Me at Maynards, which was officially inaugurated in April 2009.

Cox said the concept is simple: Encourage people to meet in one place every week for a four-mile walk or run, and stay after the event to socialize at local restaurants and other businesses.

"We have a cheer and that is 'get out,'" Cox said. "That's get out with your friends and family, get out for healthy exercise and get out to support your community."

Cox said the gatherings welcome people of all ages and abilities since completing the four-mile route is not required.

"It's absolutely free and it's every Monday," she said. "We have not missed a Monday in 263 Mondays and we won't anytime soon."

Because of its growth in recent years, Cox has moved the event from Maynards Market and Kitchen to the Hotel Congress across the street, where there is more space to handle the large crowds.