ATTENTION WALKERS, wanna-be walkers, and runners who want to join a national challenge
Are you looking for a challenge? Diana Nyad, the heroic open water swimmer who, at age 60 became the first person to swim the 111-mile distance from Cuba to Florida, has one for you.
If you don’t’ remember, in 2013 at age 60, she became the first person to swim non-stop from Cuba to Florida, in spite of failing in several previous attempts. Nyad also competed in the television reality show “Dancing With the Stars” in 2014, which has become a common high profile venue for risk-taking, goal-driven athletes to strut their stuff.
WomensRunning.com reported that she and her best friend, Bonnie Stoll, are hoping to motivate others to get on their feet and moving in a big way to stop obesity, which some say has reached epidemic proportions in America.
The organization’s website indicates that with the “Ever Walk Nation” initiative they are asking Americans to PLEDGE to: 1) "walk 3 times a week," 2) be an ”example to my family, friends and neighbors about the importance of walking and leading an active lifestyle”, and 3) “commit to be an ambassador for Ever Walk‘s mission and want to get America walking”.
In addition the two friends plan to “rally supporters to this movement” with Ever Walk events by organizing and leading a series of long distance, point-to-point walks between major American cities, in various regions of the United States.
The San Diego Union-Tribune writer Paul Sisson filed one story about the only walk scheduled for 2016, from Los Angeles to San Diego, which occurred in October. “The inaugural trek started in Santa Monica and “ended Saturday at Liberty Station’s NTC Promenade in Point Loma”. Nyad plus 40 supporters walked 7 days to traverse the 138-mile distance, which passed “through many of the most scenic parts of Southern California”.
The Womensrunning.com article shows that Ever Walk has 3 trips planned for 2017: between Washington DC and Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis, and Boston and New York City. There are four trips each scheduled for 2018, one is in Cuba, and 2019. Incredibly, the pinnacle effort of the movement will be a 2020, coast-to-coast epic adventure hike from Los Angeles to Washington DC. Organizers are hoping that one million persons will participate.
Nyad does not think success in running in distance races necessarily translates to an easy time walking 6-7 hours without a break, day after day, without proper training. “Like anything else, you’ve got to be smart, get ready for it,” she says in the WomensRunning.com piece, to avoid injury.
Neither the article nor the website provide specific dates or other information about training. Ever Walk is clearly wishing to generate interest well in advance of these future TBA events and asks visitors to the site to take the PLEDGE described above.
The WomensRunning.com piece quotes Nyad’s as saying, “They say sitting is the new smoking; this is to get people up. We sit all day—we’re the most sedentary nation on earth”. “The whole idea behind EverWalk is to get people in America to walk to school, work or even dinner with your neighborhood friends. If you want to go and get your groceries, push along a little cart and walk three miles and three miles back instead of driving.”
This could be a wonderful 3-year goal for many who are searching to be inspired and become more regularly active. Go to the website and take the pledge (I did and received a pep talk email), then follow it for future information. Next, start training.
Even though an official plan has not been put forth by Ever Walk, one that helps you prepare to walk a half marathon is a place to start. The big difference is that you will not need to pay a great deal of attention to building speed until the Ever Walk organizers indicate a minimum pace for staying with the group. Hal Higdon has a free plan that should be sufficient for a while; it runs 12 weeks to a 13.1 mile race. Good luck.
RUN and WALK HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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