Langley Walk marks 50 years

Langley Walk organizers are marking its 50th year with a variety of events surrounding the five km walk.

On May 6,  Langley celebrates 50 years of B.C.’s original walk/run. The Langley Walk is a joint initiative of both the Township and the City.

Organizers are working to make this year’s event extra special and to promote family, friends, and healthy living.  The walk is a free family event, and as part of the events legacy, organizers are working towards raising awareness and funds for KidSport Langley.

Chairman of the Langley Walk Committee Jamey Paterson shares his enthusiasm for this year’s milestone. “We are encouraging all the walkers from the past to come and join us in this historic event. We have a vibrant committee busy organizing a family festival this year, with some great prizes in many categories. We plan to enhance the competition among the schools and service clubs and bring out 2,500 participants this year.”

The Langley Walk was spawned by founder Pete Swensson with his motto “Walk away your ills, instead of taking pills.” Swensson was hired as Langley’s recreation director in 1962. He was a strong believer in the benefits of physical activity.

In the early 1960s, fitness first became a government concern, and in 1962, Swensson established the Langley Walk so that Langley citizens would participate in a fun community activity and have an attainable fitness goal. The first walk covered a route from Aldergrove Park to River Road to Fort Langley, then on to City Park. It was 18 miles long — 28 kms.

The Langley Walk is a free community event that encourages families, businesses, schools, teams, and organizations to get outside for a walk through Langley.  The Walk route has moved around the Langleys, alternating between Township and City locations. The 2012 event will begin and end at the stadium at McLeod Athletic Park and cover a 5 km route.

“If you don’t want to walk or run, we need plenty of volunteers at the park and along the run route,” suggests Paterson.  “It’s a great opportunity to be part of an historic event.”

Pre-registration is available at all Langley community centres, beginning March 8. The first 100 people to pre-register will receive a free gift when you check in at the walk, and the first 2,000 people to check in will receive a free pedometer.

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