Many studies show that walking is good for your health, but sometimes it helps to get out of the “around the block” rut and into something more challenging and fun.
Long-distance walking events help get you in shape–and if you walk for a good cause, your stroll can raise funds for groups that need it. An added bonus: Walking as part of a team can increase the enjoyment, keep you focused and build great friendships.
But what is a walking team? In the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, teams include two people or dozens-women and men, neighbors, colleagues, family, spouses or new acquaintances, from the same town or across the country-who share a commitment to taking personal steps (literally) in the fight against breast cancer.
One team that takes humor in stride is the “Back of the Pack Walkers.” It consists of nearly 10 women who come together each year for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. They walk in memory of a friend, Robyn Cain, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2004. Team Captain Candi Hoffman says that “after spending so much time together, training and at the Walk, I consider the girls on my team to be some of my closest friends.”
“Team Maureen” is a fixture at the Avon Walk Chicago, with team members participating as walkers, volunteers and cheerleaders, all in bright green shirts. According to Donna Lahey, “Team Maureen” Walker Captain, the 2006 team has 64 members from age 1 to 81. The team is named for Maureen Buescher, who died of breast cancer in 2002. It includes family and friends who walk for their own health and the health of all women.
Mike McElduff has put a unique spin on the team concept by leading “Team Peggy’s Spirit,” named for his mother, at all eight Avon Walk events across the country from April to October. “Peggy’s Spirit” includes McElduff’s siblings, friends and solo walkers who are seeking camaraderie as they tackle the long walk.