View from the back of the pack

What a wonderful weekend for walking.  There was a large group of TPWer’s doing their warm up when I arrived to walk Saturday morning. It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces.  Yes, there was grumbling about the cool wind but it did not deter anyone from walking.
Phyllis was promoting the 16K distance, a good distance for those training for Niagara. I think most did 2 loops or 13K. Given I walked very little the past 5 months, YES 5 months. I chose to take it easy and did 1 loop 6K. 
Next Sunday I will do the Yonge Street 10K. 
While I volunteer to be the view from the back, ‘back of the pack’ support for the walkers, I do the distance at the pace of the slowest walkers. Course time is 1:40 but I expect it to take closer to 2 hours.  Strange as it seems but when you train to walk fast, walking slower than your day-to-day pace is a challenge at times.  I love being with the back of the pack, some of the participants are newbies having never done a race, others may be injured runners, others are fundraisers or pole walkers.
You just never know who you will meet and what you will learn on the course.  I always try to share my experiences, telling them about TPW and WOW Power walking and of course all of the great races you can do locally or travelling for the weekend. 
I love crossing the finish line with a new walker. I always step on the timing mat after they cross, keeping my promise to be the last to finish.
I also like hearing the communication on the headset. It is impressive how they manage the start, the course and the finish with many groups to manage: staff, volunteers, participants, elite participants, spectators, police, medical support, logistics staff.  It gives you a greater appreciation of what it takes on race day to make the event successful. I may have gotten up early to get to the race for the start but volunteers and staff have been there at least 2 to 3 hours before I arrive.  Something to consider next race day.

I think it’s going to be a good week to get one more walk in, No matter how short the distance, consider doing an extra walk this week….I am going to !!

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