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Lace up your sneakers to walk from PEC to PEI

At the unveiling of the ‘Walk to Province House PEI’ map, from left, Tracy Powers, Ralph Hill, John Baker, Vere Stark, Mary Latchford, Dan Rolfe and Bob Latchford.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th this year, County residents are being challenged to ‘Walk to Province House’ – the location known as the birthplace of Canadian Confederation.

The promotion of both healthy activity and the walking track at the Wellington Community Centre comes on the heels of last year’s ‘Walk Around The County’ initiative where about 180 participants walked the equivalent of the County’s shorelines – 348 km – over a six month period.

This year, participants are being encouraged to sign up to walk the distance from Wellington to Province House in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by the end of this year – a total of 1,530 kms. Participants who do it at Wellington’s Community Centre, will walk around the track 7,463 times.

“Last year when we started the Walk around the County, I was shocked to find out there were still people virtually next door who weren’t aware we had an indoor walking track right here,” said Lisa Lindsay, the County’s Manager of Community Centres and Events Marketing.

Walk Around The County was first developed by her department to raise awareness about Wellington’s indoor track while promoting active lifestyles in the community.

“It’s a safe, temperature-controlled location that is ideal in any weather condition for walking or running,” said Lindsay. “But this challenge is not limited to just the track in Wellington. We want to invite everyone in our community to walk anywhere, anytime.”

The idea to walk in celebration of the nation’s sesquicentennial came from Wellington resident Ralph Hall who is one of several walking enthusiasts who use the track regularly. The 85-year-old also likes to hike on trails in the area and last year counted up 1,900 kilometres of walking.

“Originally my idea was that collectively, the walkers in the County could walk across Canada but that proved to be a little too far so we decided on Charlottetown,” he said. Hall has already clocked up 300 kilometres of walking toward this year’s venture.

“We’re on the honour system here,” said Lindsay, “so anybody who is already keeping track is welcome to add that to track their distances. We’ll check in around Canada Day to see how far people have gone, but the final celebration will be at year-end, so there’s plenty of time and it’s a realistic goal.”

Hall was joined by other regulars at the walking track for the unveiling of the map to PEI on Wednesday morning.

Bob and his wife Mary Latchford have enjoyed walking at the track for years.

“I’d say we come quite often, almost every day,” said Bob. “It’s much safer for me than walking outside.”

“I like to change direction every now and then just to unwind my brain,” added Mary. “I also like to walk the other way to see some faces while I’m walking.”

Tracy Powers, of Fitness Powers, will be offering four workshops on a dozen different dates to help walkers understand the importance of warming up and stretching afterward, proper walking form, shoes, and preventing injuries

“People walk without warming up or stretching afterward and that can lead to shin splints, knee and back problems,” she said. The first workshop is set for March 8 at 9 a.m.

“What’s most important is that people are walking either inside on the walking track, or outside, or even on vacation,” Lindsay said, noting a couple of snowbirds who plan to report on their walking progress.

Walkers can check their progress at a giant map located in both the Wellington and Picton arenas. Lindsay notes it is marked to show full and half marathon distances, for those who would like to keep track that way.

Residents who would like to participate in the challenge can sign up at the Wellington District Community Centre to have their progress tracked and to receive reminders about upcoming fitness clinics. Participants will also get a pamphlet they can use log their kilometres and track progress along the way to Province House.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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