Two Greater Trail women are setting the pace when it comes to fitness walking.
Linda Golberg of Trail and Deanna Welsh of Montrose both surpassed the 5,000 mile or close to 8,000 kilometres mark at Waneta Plaza last week.
The women are part of a group dubbed the Waneta Plaza Mall Walkers, that started taking the stroll back in 1991 and have met almost every morning, Monday to Friday, since.
The walkers once numbered as many as 30 but are now down to about 10.
“We originally had large numbers but like most events it has gotten smaller and larger a number of times over the years,” said Plaza manager, Linda MacDermid. “I would like to start a push again for numbers to grow.”
While Welsh and Golberg didn’t start walking in the mall until about nine years ago, veteran strollers Irene Ashby and Catharine Bradshaw have been there since the beginning.
“We walked for nearly 20 years but back then we never kept track,” said Bradshaw.
A full lap around the mall is about a quarter of a mile, so four laps equals a mile. The walkers have a logbook to enter their daily output that averages about two miles a day.
“We use to do a lot more, but it’s up to you – if you only want to walk twice, you only walk twice,” added Golberg.
The ladies all started walking for various reasons, mostly for their health in a comfortable and convenient atmosphere, but also for the cup of coffee and an opportunity to relax and socialize.
“We’ve solved all the problems in the world and they don’t know a thing about it,” says Welsh.
Last week at a special breakfast organized by Plaza staff, Golberg and Welsh were presented with fleece vests to mark their achievement. Staff has also invite professionals to talk about health concerns and proper footwear.
“In the past we had Gerald Klassen (Gerick’s Cycle) in to talk about proper walking shoes, doctors on health reasons to walk especially after an illness, and a diabetes nurse on how walking helps with that illness,” said MacDermid.
The walkers meet when the mall opens at 7 a.m. but people can walk at other times as well.
All are invited to join, even Deanna’s husband, Montrose Mayor Griff Welsh, has been known to log a few laps albeit grudgingly.
“There’s not much to tell you really,” says Ashby. “We walk and we have fun.”