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RRCA Members Host Fifty Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K events on Sunday May 22nd

Nearly 22,000 People Registered for the 2011 Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K events hosted nationwide by member clubs and events of the Road Runners Club of America.

Local Media Turn-out for Weight Watchers Walk-It Day Events

The Kansas City Track Club hosts the largest Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K event with over 1500 people taking part in the walk.

Walk-It 5K takes place at G.T. Bray Park
Excerpts from the article by James A. Jones, Jr for the Bradenton Herald

MANATEE, FL—It was a new day for many of the 184 who gathered Sunday morning at G.T. Bray Park for the Weight Watchers Walk-It 5K Challenge.

Typical was Melissa Taylor who was walking her first 5K event—about 3.1 miles.  “I have never done an organized walk. I am kind of proud of myself,” said Taylor, who came down from Pasco County with two friends for the 5K.

Rebekah Encke of Bradenton lost 60 pounds and signed up her husband Jason and children Abigail and Jason for the walk, too.  “I couldn’t have done this before,” Rebekah Encke said.

Steve Litschauer, president of the Suncoast Striders Walking and Running Club, was impressed with the turnout. “This is probably the first event of this kind many of these folks have ever done,” Litschauer said.

No doubt about that, agreed Palmetto pals Janet Ciancarelli and LouAnn Boucher. “We needed it, we needed more exercise,” said Boucher.

Walking It Off
Excerpts from the blog by Spareribs LaMothe for the Dallas Morning News

Two weeks ago I went on a diet to drop a few pounds I had put on during some low mileage months of running when I was injured. I ate just the same, but wasn’t burning off the calories. Let me tell you that the diet almost killed me! When I ran I was weak all the time, and I always felt like I was starving. I realized that there are some people who feel like this all the time, and for them it is very difficult to keep their weight down. I had a newfound sympathy for people who struggle with weight control.

So [Sunday] there was a big event in America. The Road Runners Club of America teamed up with Weight Watchers to sponsor the Weight Watchers Walk-It 5K organized walk. A running club I belong to, Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers, agreed to put on the event for the cause. We thought we would get a couple of hundred participants, but to our astonishment, nearly 1,200 people showed up and walked the 3.1 mile course. This was several hundred more people than normally show up for one of our club’s popular races, and we were ecstatic about the turnout.

Under the guidance of our event director Kathryn Gleghorn, the club put on a fun event. Gift bags for all registrants included an attractive T-shirt and the entrants couldn’t wait to put them on. We also assigned numbers (carefully instructing the walkers to put them on the front!), but we didn’t score the event or give out awards. The course was lined with signs encouraging the walkers with a fun motivational phrase. After the walk there was plenty of water and healthy food, such as oranges and bananas.

Of course it was a miserable day to go for a walk, much less go running. It was hot and humid, not at all enjoyable for any kind of exercise. But you know what happened? The people had an absolute ball! My wife and I volunteered to work the event and we talked to many people after they finished, and not only did they not complain about the weather, they spoke in glowing terms about how much fun they had and how they would like to do it again.

My perspective is that what made it fun for all of them was the camaraderie, making an event out of exercise, and sharing it with others who are trying to incorporate exercise into their diet programs. I support all those who participated. I hope they come out to our club and walk with us and get involved. Who knows, somewhere within that great turnout of walkers are a group of future runners and racers. They just don’t know it yet.

(Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers hosted the second largest Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K event with 1200 people.)

RRCA Thanks Our Hosts and Sponsors

The RRCA extends a huge thank you to the following members for hosting an Official Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K on Sunday May 22nd.  We also thank Weight Watchers International and the supporting sponsors Sketchers, RunSignUp.com, Leslie Jordan, Britton Banners, and Rainbow Racing.  Photos from some of the events can be seen on the RRCA website footer in the Recent Flikr Photos section.

Fleet Feet Menlo Park’s Walkers - CA
Fleet Feet Pleasant Hill - CA
Go WOW Team - Ask About Running - CA
Lake of the Sky TrailRunners - CA
Riverside Road Runners - CA
San Diego Track Club - CA
UltraLadies - CA
USA Marathon Training - CA
Fleet Feet Sports Hartford - CT
DC Running Club - DC
Amelia Island Runners - FL
Fleet Feet Sports – Sarasota - FL
Runner’s Edge Foundation - FL
Space Coast Runners - FL
Suncoast Striders - FL
Marathon Majic, LLC - GA
South DeKalb Striders Running Club - GA
The Heat Track Club - GA
Wild Boar Racing LLC - HI
Fleet Feet Sports Elmhurst - IL
Fox River Running Club - IL
Calumet Region Striders - IN
Greater Evansville Runners Club, Inc. - IN
Logan Co Run/Walk Club - KY
Fleet Feet Sports Baton Rouge - LA
Greater Lowell RRC - MA
Old Colony Running Events - MA
Prince Georges Running Club - MD
Charities Challenge - MN
Kansas City Track Club - MO
RACE Montana - MT
Fleet Feet Sports Winston-Salem - NC
Four Seasons Running Club - NC
Moose Milers Running Club - NH
Mile Square Consulting - NY
East End Road and Trail Runners Club - NY
Cleveland West Road Runners club - OH
Runners’ Club of Greater Cincinnati - OH
Youngstown Road Runners Club - OH
Willamette Valley Road Runners - OR
First Place Events - SC
Brownsville Trailblazers - TX
Heels and Hills - TX
Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers - TX
Pearland Area Runners Club - TX
Sienna Running Club - TX
Tough Cookies - TX
Kingstowne Striders - VA
Tidal Basin Run - VA
Tidewater Striders - VA
Marty’s Programs – WI

Through the partnership with Weight Watchers International, the RRCA has been in a position to promote the Join a Club message on behalf of their members.  The Join a Club message encourages people to join their local running and walking clubs and to participate in local events following the Weight Watchers Walk-It Day 5K events.  The partnership also enables the RRCA to pursue important strategies outlined in the National Physical Activity Plan.  The RRCA has been an active partner in the development and implementation efforts for the Plan.

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