By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Town is hoping residents will put both feet forward Wednesday when they launch a free walking and running club on the same evening. The Walk With Us Club and Morinville Running Club start May 8 at the Morinville Fish and Game Association pond trail and will run for eight consecutive Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
“The idea is to provide a safe environment for people to get together and actually walk the trails,” said Morinville’s Operations and Program Coordinator Tyler Edworthy. “Some people are intimidated to go out on their own.”
Beyond strength in numbers, Edworthy said he believes the big support group will help keep people motivated. “It’s kind of motivating when you see someone that’s lost three or four pounds over a course of time just by walking. A lot of people don’t realize that you burn the same number of calories walking as you do running as long as you do the same distance. You just don’t get the cardiovascular [benefits]. Increasing your heart rate – that you can do with brisk walking. You can’t do it if you are just strolling.”
Unlike many programs, people can join the two clubs at any point along the journey. In fact, Edworthy said although the Town’s commitment to the program is eight weeks, he hopes the community will continue it on their own. “Hopefully there would be a turnover,” he said. “New people joining it. Perhaps people advancing to running. Maybe they advance into other things like the boot camps and other courses that we put on as a town.”
Melodie Steele, who is the Town’s contact person for the club, said the clubs would morph into whatever participants want it to be. “We want this to be a club that’s for the people and by the people,” Steele said. “Essentially, it is a group of like minded people that get together because they want to get out and get some physical exercise, have some social interaction in the process, and maybe see some new sites in town. We would like to see people get excited about it and make it part of their life. They could go year round.”
Steele said initially the Town’s trail system will be the starting point for the club, but the venue could change at the will of the participants.
Those who want to enjoy the cardio vascular benefits as well as the calorie burning can take part in the Morinville Running Club, taking place at the same time as Walk With Us.
Unlike the Town’s Learn to Run 5K program, Steele said the running club would have no instructor. It is felt those taking part in the club will quickly establish where and how they want to proceed.
Like the walking club, the idea is to provide a time and place where runners can meet to enjoy the social side of their physical exercise.
Part of overall health goals
Both the walking and running clubs fit into the Town’s goal of promoting healthy lifestyles within the community. “Promoting healthy lifestyles has, I think, been goal number one from the beginning,” Edworthy said. “This is just a way to reach out to some of those people who don’t have the time or who are intimidated about joining some of the class and courses we provide. This is just a social atmosphere where people can come in at their own pace and go for a stroll with a group of people. There are no strict guidelines. It’s going to be completely open.
For more information contact Tyler Edworthy at 780-939-7834 or drop by the Morinville Fish and Game Association Pond Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.