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One foot in front of the other

Jefferson County, W.Va., challenges residents to walk 100 miles in 100 days

Jefferson County, W.Va., challenges residents to walk 100 miles in 100 days

May 25, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission is reminding area residents that it only takes one step to start on the road to good health.

The commission is challenging residents to walk 100 miles in 100 days this summer. Jennifer Myers, assistant director of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said the free activity kicks off today and will conclude on Labor Day.

"It encompasses what parks and recreation is about - to get active," Myers said.

It was Jefferson County Commissioner Lyn Widmyer who brought the idea to the parks and rec commission. Widmyer started a similar program two years ago in her previous position as parks supervisor in Montgomery County, Md.

"It focuses on (getting) people to start walking and for people to get moving," she said.

Myers said to sign up, people can stop by the commission's office in Sam Michael's Park or go online at www.jcprc.org for a registration form. Using what Myers calls the honor system, participants keep track of their miles on the form. The program is open to anyone.

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But some people weren't even waiting for today's holiday to get started. Myers said some participants have already contacted parks and rec. to start their miles.

"We have a group of moms who meet every Friday morning here at the park to walk," Myers said.

At the end of the challenge, participants will not only have walked 100 miles - about the distance from Charles Town, W.Va., across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Stevensville, Md. - but will also earn a certificate and a 30-day pass to use the Jefferson County Community Center's fitness room.

Widmyer said she has been challenging everyone in the office to get out and walk this summer. She said for most people, 2,000 steps or 15 minutes of brisk walking equals a mile.

But don't look for Widmyer to walk.

"I'm what I call a wogger - I walk and jog," she said.

And in Jefferson County there are plenty of places to take a nice stroll, Myers said.

"We have plenty of nice parks," she said.

Of course, there is Sam Michael's Park, where the commission is located. Myers said the park has paved trails in one-mile and half-mile loops. There's also a three-mile, cross-country course.

Morgan Grove Park in nearby Shepherdstown has a 3/4-mile trail. And Bolivar Nature Park's 7-acre park has plenty of walking trails.

Jefferson Memorial Park in Charles Town has a walking trail that is 7/10 of a mile. Or walk on the C&O Canal Towpath - the full length is 184.5 miles.

Or just walk on the sidewalk in your neighborhood.

"You can walk anywhere," Widmyer said.

Myers said the program is not only a way to encourage people to get out, get active and see the county, but it's a fitness program at a cost families can afford.

"It's free and that's huge," she said.

How to join



To participate in 100 Miles in 100 Days, visit www.jcprc.org to print off a registration form and e-mail Jennifer Myers at .

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