By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — It’s time once again to lace up those walking shoes and get training as arrival of the fifth annual Maple City Walk is right around the corner.
Hosted annually by Downtown Goshen Inc., the Maple City Walk is a noncompetitive, scenic walk through the autumn-kissed countryside designed to show off the best of what Goshen has to offer.
Set to kick of Sept. 21, this year’s walk starts and ends at the Millrace Powerhouse Park by the Goshen Farmers Market, 212 W. Washington St., Goshen.
Day-of registration begins at 7 a.m., with the walk set to begin promptly at 7:30 a.m.
Again this year, the route will include the Maple City Greenway and feature the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail as the core of its 13.1 mile half-marathon and 26.2-mile full marathon walks. In addition to the marathon walks, attendees this year will also have the option of participating in a 10K, or 6.5 mile walk.
“This is a noncompetitive, but timed event,” said Maple City Walk Committee member Julia Gautsche. “Participants have five hours to complete the half marathon and nine hours to complete the full marathon. Each participant who completes the walk will receive a unique Maple City Walk medal and be entered into a drawing for a free pair of walking shoes.”
Gerrit Huig, co-founder and longtime participant in the walk, is excited about what’s in store for this year’s expanded walk and growing participation base.
“Oh it’s definitely growing,” Huig said of the walk. “In fact, I have family that come from the Netherlands to do it, we have people from Denver, Florida, Massachusetts... They are mostly family members of local participants, but they bring friends, and it all adds up.”
Huig, who first got interested in long distance walking at the age of 14 back in his home country of the Netherlands, said it was a conversation with Gautsche a few years ago that first sparked the idea for the annual walk.
“When I was 14, I did a walk in the Netherlands that was 30 kilometers a day for four days for kids my age, and then 50 kilometers a day for adults, and at that time it had grown to 48,000 people doing it,” Huig said. “So a few years ago Julia and I were talking about how can we get something similar going in Goshen, and I was telling her about the walk, and she said, ‘Why can’t we do something like that here?’ And Julia being Julia, she took the bull by the horns and made it happen.”
As for the overall goal of the event, Huig said it’s really just about getting people out, getting in some good exercise, and introducing the scenic beauty of Goshen to as many people as possible.
“We wanted to make it a challenge, but not so much that you have to be a serious athlete to participate,” Huig said. “But at the same time we also didn’t want it to be something you can do with your eyes closed. But really the goal is just to get people out there, because this is a beautiful area, and this time of year the trees are gorgeous. We’d like people to come to this area and enjoy the beauty and quiet of it, exercise, and just have a good time.”
According to Gautsche, there is a cost to participate in the walk, though costs are reduced for those who register before Sept. 14.
Cost to register for the 10K walk before Sept. 14 is as follows: adults, $15; ages 15 to 18, $10; and children under 15, free.
Cost to register after Sept. 14 is: adults, $25; ages 15 to 18, $10; and children under 15, free.
Cost to register for the half-marathon before Sept. 14 is: adults, $20; ages 15 to 18, $10; and children under 15, free.
Cost to register after Sept. 14 is: adults, $30; ages 15 to 18, $10; and children under 15, free.
Cost to register for the full marathon before Sept. 14 is: adults, $30; ages 15 to 18, $15; and children under 15, free.
Cost to register after Sept. 14 is: adults, $40; ages 15 to 18, $15; and children under 15, free.
All children under 15 who wish to participate in the walk must be accompanied by an adult. A roving volunteer will carry a first aid kit for minor injuries, but participants who experience more serious health issues are encouraged to call 9-1-1.
While a long walk through the countryside may not seem like much of a challenge to some, distance walking is serious exercise requiring good planning and practice in order to avoid potential complications.
Below are several walking tips provided by the Maple City Walk Committee to help ensure walk attendees have the best experience possible when Sept. 21 finally rolls around.
• Training to walk a significant number of miles requires putting in more miles, which increases injury risk. To stay healthy, ramp up mileage and intensity gradually, increasing mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Resist the urge to add miles prematurely.
• During training, practice for the terrain and conditions you’ll face on the day of the walk. If your walk is on the roads, do most of your walking on the roads. If your race starts at 8 a.m., plan several of your long walks for that time, so you can figure out what prewalk fueling strategy works for you. If the course has a long hill at mile eight, map out a long walk that follows that same pattern.
Have a purpose
for each walk
• Make sure to take the long walks as hard days and the recovery walks easy. Many walkers make the mistake of walking too long on their easy days, which can lead to injury and burnout, and leave you too tired to give your all to long walks. To view a recommended training schedule, visit http://cityonthego.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/MCW_HalfMarathonWalk_training.pdf
Practice eating and drinking
For any workout longer than 90 minutes, consume roughly 100 calories every 45 minutes. Try different sports drinks, gels, and chews to find out which brands and flavors sit best in your stomach. Find out what will be offered at the race so that you can test it out in training.
Break down the distance
• Long walks such as a 13.1 mile half-marathon walk can be intimidating, especially in the first few miles. So break it down into three segments: the first five miles, the middle five, and the final 3.1 miles. For the first five, think, “Easy does it”. Walk relaxed, and get into rhythm. For the next five, think, “Hold steady”. You’ll need to concentrate to maintain your pace. For the final 3.1, think, “Time to push”. Barrel through fatigue, and remember how short the remaining distance is compared to the miles you walked in training.
For more information about the event, registration forms, training tips and a map of the course, visit www.cityonthego.org and click on the Maple City Walk link.