Walkers comments

Long Hard Walk

It was 1995; My first year doing the Great Walk. I was very nervous the morning I got to the starting line. Everyone was around the campfire, or trying to get some sleep in their vehicles. It was 3:51, and I had to start to warm up. As everyone started to gather around the starting line, my heat started to pound. Then the next thing I know, I'm running. It was a long hard run. I never stopped at a check point for very long. My time was 10hrs and 15mins. I got three trophies. "Youngest Walker", "First Female Youth" and "Youngest Female".

In 1996, it seemed harder. I was not as nervous as the first year. I was on my own. In 1995, I went with Megan Cofield.

She slowed me down, so I thought that it would be best if I was on my own. This way I can go at any pace I want. There were times I wanted to give up, but I kept on going.

There were also times were there was no one around and I was walking all alone. I had feelings that a bear or cougar would come out. But one never did.

It took me 9hrs and 28mins. That night at the ceremony, I got one trophy.

"First Female Youth".

In 1997, I wasn't really ready to do the Great Walk. I was really afraid that I was not going to make it. I have never practiced for the Great Walk and I still make it in. Since 1995, when I was walking alone, I thought that I needed a walkman for the next time and I did. So I used it again. I was walking alone for about 20-30 minutes and it was very frightening. There were not very many road monitors. So I was getting scared. But it was a good walk.

At check point 5, I was very close to giving up. But I kept going. I got another trophy. "First Female Youth." My time was 8hrs 48mins.

Now I am doing it all over again.

Jessica Herron
Tahsis, B.C.
Age - 14

I participated in the "Great Walk" this year for the 1st time. Wow, what an experience !!!!!!!!!!!!!! The hospitality I was extended in both Gold River and Tahsis was, to say the least, incredible. You all did a super job organizing the event. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of volunteers or community spirit over there.
Mark Allen, #699

One of the most memorable times I've had in this life... thanks to everyone for everything. You were all gems. I'll be back next year.
Gerald

Hello Tahsis:
We want to congratulate you on doing such a great job with the 21st annual Great Walk. The hospitality was excellent but then again I know Tahsis "never lets us down". It was great seeing old friends again. Keep up the good work!
Jim Williams...Walker #662
Grace Bond.....ex Tahsisite
Jeanene Pires....Support Driver

This was my first walk and I would like to say," that it was a super experience because of the organization and all the great volunteers that were out there helping us". Thanks for the experience.
Lyle Percevault #142

Hello and thank you to all involved in the organization and running of the Great Walk.

For my second year in a row I had a fabulous time taking part in this event. After being so impressed last year, I brought in 7 rookies this year and they are all walking (rather painfully) on air this week as a result of their success.

This is a fabulous event and I do not know if it is possible to thank all of the volunteers enough. I guess that I will have to sacrifice my own glory and volunteer myself in a future year.
Thank you again,
Michelle Steel

Thank you all for a wonderfully organized event. This was my first time and hopefully won't be my last. Have you ever considered the Burning Boot Award in the form of a badge so we can sew it to our packs, hats, etc. and promote the Walk even more?
Thanks again.
Susan Sanderson

A warm hello to all the volunteers that made this event such a rewarding experience for so many people from everywhere. I must commend all of you for being helpful and very organized. This event continues to be popular because of the people who work in the preparation and implementation of such a huge project.

As a Volkssports member and a fanatic about walking, I truly enjoyed myself and will return to the Great Walk because of the warm and friendly welcome that I received when arriving at Tahsis. Keep up the wonderful work that all of you are doing and I will see you next year.
Regards
Rod Tranter
Juan de Fuca Ramblers
Volkssports Club

Hi Jo Ann. Now I know why it is called the "Great" Walk -- it truly is one. I had a fabulous time if once can say that through all the aches and pain. Are the results going to be posted on line and if so would you please tell me where?

Thanks again for a really great time. I plan on participating again next year with the goal of improving my time. Besides which, I'm sure by then my feet will have forgiven me.
Gerry Giles

Many thanks to all you wonderful organizers and volunteers who made the Great Walk possible. What a great event!!! It was our first visit to either Gold River or Tahsis, and both are great towns. The enthusiasm and support of everyone was overwhelming!!!
Thanks again for everything.
Linda Percevault
Norman Arial
Ann Arial
Lucie Marion

I would like to thank you and all those responsible for putting on a grand experience! Thank you very much!!

It was my first Great Walk (probably not my last) and I exceeded all my expectations. I budgeted 12 hours to complete and did it in 9 hours and 5 minutes. All I wanted to do was complete. I also exceeded my fundraising goal and, provided I collect all the pledges, will have $2700 for a local charity, Deltassist Emergency Fund.

The support along the route was unbelievable, the amenities and service at the Tahsis Community Centre was astounding. I'm only sorry I was not able to survive the day to participate in the evening's celebrations.

Today as I hobble around, every stair (especially going down) and every footstep is a happy (pain) reminder of a wonderful experience!

I would like to ask a big favor of you! Apparently our local paper would like to write a piece on my walk. My wife talked with someone saturday night in Gold River and heard about some of the statistics for this year. Number of registered walkers: 744
Actual walkers that participated : 593
Walkers that did not finish: ?
Total $ pledged: ?

Please confirm the above or fill in the blanks so I can provide the paper (The Optomist) with some details and I have the preregistration information for some background on the Great Walk itself. Should you want anything else mentioned please e-mail me your input. I know that I will generate some interest for next year's walk and am sure that the article should provide further inquiries.

Again, thank you for such a fantastic experience and I hope to make it an annual ritual!
David E. Edey
Walker #236

My husband and I completed your famous (infamous??) walk on Saturday. It was indeed a very gruelling personal test of endurance and we were happy to be able to finish although it took us until 6:30 to do it. We wanted you to know how well organized it was and how much we appreciated the 12 check points along the way. It was wonderful to have food, drink and encouragement and the soup at checkpoint six was super. I am wearing my T shirt to work today as I am proud to be able to say 'I did it' one month before my 63rd birthday and two months after my husband's 65th.

I also want to comment on the scenery of your area. It is absolutely spectacular. I have lived on Vancouver Island all my life but never been to your area before and I am certainly impressed. We're also impressed by the great people who gave us such a super welcome.

We forgot to hand in our pledge slip so for your records, we walked for the Sooke Hospice and raised $125.00.
Thanks again for everything.
Albin and Elizabeth Johnson
SOOKE, B.C.

This poem was written by your 1999 Oldest Female Finisher, Elizabeth Vos, 72, of Nanaimo, who gave me permission to forward it on to you. This year was her second walk. She wrote the poem in 1994 after finishing her first Great Walk. I wrote a profile of her, based on her Great Walk finish, for Nanaimo's Essence Magazine, and also used her pix which I took at the Great Walk award ceremony. The article and photo ran in July's issue. I thought you might enjoy her poem. I enjoyed the Great Walk this year for my first time. -- Donna Wilford

The GREAT WALK

Snow-clad mountains all around us,
Rivers sparkling, wild and clear,
Waterfalls slilver-streaked and swift,
Cascading down rocks steep and solid,
Forming golden mist above us --

Bush along the road side dense and luscious green,
Flowers nodding their pretty heads,
And amidst these nature wonders,
People of all size and ages --
Walking -- trotting -- running -- jogging --
Laughing -- sighing -- talking -- crying ?
NO -- just doing the GREAT WALK!

It's the adventure of a life time --
And we would not want to miss it!!
Even though the bones start aching --
In this walk it's FUN to hurt!!

And when at last you get to Tahsis --
The feet on fire -- the body weary,
The fire engine -- glossy, shining
Greets you with a classic roar --
If you felt low -- now spirits SOAR!!

THE WALK WAS GREAT!

The friendly helpers must be as tired as we are;
To be up at 2 a.m. is not ideal --
But must be, to help this "foot-ordeal"
To an early start.

All the wounds were "self-inflicted,"
Muscles, bones and toes in doom,
(Who said you had to do it??)
In a year, it will be healed,
This stretch of road, it has some magic,
Though for the feet it can be tragic,
But for the spirit it is boon, so
LET'S MEET AGAIN NEXT JUNE !

A hearty big thank you to All --
You are GREAT PEOPLE at Tahsis and Gold River --

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

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