Strap on your training shoes and get walking

The deadline for a $50 registration fee for the Great Lake Walk is fast approaching.

Gerrie Knott participating in one of the many Great Lake Walks over the years.

Gerrie Knott participating in one of the many Great Lake Walks over the years.

The deadline for a $50 registration fee for the Great Lake Walk is fast approaching. Folks who wish to participate in the walk, happening on September 15, and who wish to take advantage of this second stage promotional reduction in fees, have until August 1, to register.

From August 2, to September 1, registration fees will go up to $60 per person. For those who wish to register a team, the fee is the same, but the bonus is that organizers offer each sixth registration free.

The Great Lake Walk is an annual charity fundraiser in which participants can choose to donate to the charity of their choice.

This 55.9 kilometer walk begins at 5 a.m. in Youbou, with a breakfast offered at the Youbou New Hope Community Church between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The cost for breakfast is $5.50.

The walk can be grueling even for seasoned walkers and runners, so Gerrie Knott, a regular participant, offers a few suggestions and ways in which she prepares.

“Besides walking three to four times a week I also go to Links twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and do a boot camp with Shannon Lee,” she says.

She says that those who wish to participate should start training as early as possible.

“This is not something you can just walk into. I do it because I can.”

Knott often takes her son’s dogs with her and does a loop from her house on Beaver Road, to the highway, and back again. She takes her iPod with her and counts her steps. She does this on the day of the Great Lake Walk as well, and says that last year she took 73,000 steps and burned just under 5,000 calories.

Knott recommends bringing along several pairs of shoes and socks for the walk itself, as feet can become sweaty and develop blisters.

Walk organizers provide vehicles that transport personal belongings and deliver them to the various rest stops along the way.

Doug Knott, Gerrie’s husband, is one of the drivers for the walk. Doug also coordinates all of the drivers and “drives the van around the lake picking up walkers baggage and any walkers who cannot finish the walk, along with my mom and dad, Ted and Ethel Johnson, and my brother-in-law Gordy Knott who volunteers with driving the vans,” says Knott

Her friend Tracy Johnson drives one of the support vehicles and her daughter Taylor has walked with Knott for the past nine years.

Knott has walked in every Great Lake Walk for the past 10 years, and says she does it for her own health and personal satisfaction.

However, this year she says she is walking for her sister-in-law Barb who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

“She’s always been one of my biggest supporters,” says Knott. “She’s always at the finish line waiting for me.”

But Knott adds that her entire family supports her each year as well.

“The family and friends I see at the finish line also keep me going those last few kilometers. The encouragement I get is amazing and honestly I could not do it without the support from them.”

For more information, registration forms, and an itinerary of the walk, go to greatlakewalk.com, or phone 250-749-3740.

 

Lake Cowichan Gazette

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