Last weekend, I participated in the Weekend to End Women's Cancers Walk in Calgary!
It was fabulous, and I am so glad that I was able to be part of it! We had gorgeous weather (I'm sure not going to complain - about 27 degrees each day, couldn't have asked for better). The areas that we walked through were great, and seemed to make the kilometers go quickly! We walked by one area where Calgary's first "rich people" built their homes, and although they are old, they are still very impressive. We also walked by the Bow and the Elbow Rivers, and through Stanley Park and West Glenmore Park. What gorgeous areas. Shaelyn and I are going to have to go there sometime, and walk by the river. We walked by Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary, and McMahon Stadium. We walked under the Centre Street Bridge, and down so many city streets, that I can't remember where all we were!
On the sidewalks, people had written words of thanks and encouragement to the walkers. Some of the comments were really touching, and they sure provided motivation along the way. Other people had tubs of water sitting in ice, with signs for the walkers to help themselves, and still others provided hoses for water, and sprinklers for misting ourselves off! There were lemonade stands, and some families had their children and even their dogs decked out in pink!! It was quite entertaining at times, and there were so many people sitting on their steps or in their yards saying "Thank you for walking".
All along the route were the wonderful volunteers, too! There were people in vans and on motorcycles who made the loop continually, honking, waving, and shouting out! Every major intersection had at least a volunteer and an officer there to stop traffic and let you cross safely. We were even ushered across the streets quite often under umbrellas to shelter us from the sun!
Every five kilometers was a "grab and go" or a rest stop. They had Powerade, Dasani water, bagels, carrots, apples and bananas there for you to refuel on. They also had medics at almost every stop, for people to treat their aches and pains! And of course, the "porta potties" were at each location. You knew you were well hydrated when you had to use them every five kilometers!
There were 1,114 people participating in the Walk on Saturday morning. $2.7 Million was raised for the Calgary Walk alone this year. We took off from Currie Barracks at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, and I arrived back there at 3:00 p.m. As I was in the middle of the group when we left, and I was one of the first 50 to arrive back at camp that afternoon, I was pretty happy with how well I did! We walked 32 kilometers the first day, so taking into consideration time used for breaks and lunch, I calculate that I was walking about 6 kilometers an hour! Not too shabby for an old broad.
On Sunday, we only had to walk 28 kilometers, so I left Currie Barracks at 7:40 a.m., and arrived back at 1:35 p.m. I spent a little more time at the rest stops, and took longer for lunch than on Saturday, so I calculate that I walked pretty close to the same speed that day too, maybe just a little slower. The first five kilometers on Sunday were pretty tough, though. I had some muscles that were complaining quite loudly when I started off, and I had gotten a couple of blisters Saturday that needed to be taken care of Sunday morning when I got to camp, so I was hurting when I left camp. They started feeling better after a while, thank goodness! But I tell you, the last five kilometers seemed to take forever!!
All in all, I was very happy with how I did! I walked away (pun intended), from the Weekend with only two blisters, and a real sense of accomplishment!! I also met a lot of really nice people along the way. Everyone was so friendly, and seemed to be having so much fun! The people who volunteered were fabulous, and the organizers did a great job!! This is something I will definitely participate in again.
Thank you to my Spark Friends who sent "best wishes" and "good luck" messages, as well as Goodies to me. You're a great bunch of gals to have as friends, and I sure do appreciate you all!