Trekkers walk for health
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 06:00 am
Through rain, snow, sunshine or hail, the St. Albert Trekkers Volkssport Club will be out pacing local trails.
“We pretty well walk in all weather,” said Sharon Tchir, club president. “It has to be extremely cold before we cancel a walk.”
The non-profit organization hosts various walks, usually five- and 10-kilometres, year round using the trail systems in the greater Edmonton area.
The club also has official indoor walks in West Edmonton Mall and Servus Credit Union Place.
“The focus is really on fun and fitness,” Tchir said. “There’s this whole thing about meeting new people and having people to walk with and chat with and it takes you to new places and you’re working on your fitness all the time.”
The St. Albert chapter has been operating for more than 25 years, Tchir said.
There are roughly 100 members from the greater Edmonton area — one third are from St. Albert, one third are from Edmonton and the remainder hail from surrounding areas.
Although many members are in their senior years, the club welcomes energetic youth looking to explore local trails and meet new people. Tchir said all fitness levels and speeds are welcome.
Tchir joined the club two years ago and said it has had a profound effect on her.
Her fitness level improved from being able to complete five kilometres with some difficulty to excelling at 10-kilometre walks.
“I’ve become really quite deeply involved in just two years and I really enjoy it,” she said.
She said her holidays now almost always incorporate walking — next week she will be heading to Oregon to participate in a scenic walk with trekkers from across North America.
“As well as the fitness, you go places and you see parts of these cities that you wouldn’t see otherwise if you were just touring around in your car,” she said.
Two area walks are slated for this Saturday: a five- or 10-kilometre trek in both Morinville and Cardiff.
These walks are a tradition that have been taking place for roughly 25 years and Tchir said she expects to see between 30 and 50 trekkers.
Interested individuals simply show up, register for the walk and begin their trek. The first five walks are free of charge for new trekkers, although a $10 annual membership fee is required to continue.
Two additional walks are scheduled in St. Albert later in the month.
For more information about the club and upcoming walks, visit www.trekkerswalks.ca.