Joan Hieta

Joan Hieta

Great Lake Walk adds new team option

Here’s your chance to deck out the minivan, grab your buddies or the crew from work and spend a day doing something you’ll never forget.

This year, there’s a brand new way to experience just why exactly “It’s Worth the Walk!” If the 56 km Great Lake Walk is something that you’ve always dreamed of doing, but somehow have never quite gotten it together to train or prepare for, now’s your chance to give it a shot. There is a fun, new way to tackle the daunting route and have a great time with your friends at the same time.

“This year you can enter a team and do a relay, tag-team type effort,” said Great Lake Walk Society Chair, Joan Hieta.

Each participating team provides their own team vehicle and monitors the distance each member walks. The minimum number of members per team is three and the maximum number is however many seatbelts that your team vehicle has. Vehicle drivers are of course team members, so can walk as well. You can spell each other off whenever you like and swap places with a fresh walker or walkers whenever you feel like it.

“We’re hoping people will really get into this and maybe dress up or decorate their team vehicles,” said Hieta. “We wanted to make it more accessible and fun!”

The team vehicle is spotted out on the route, before the 5 a.m. start so that all team members can cross the Youbou start line together. At the end of 56 km trek in Lake Cowichan, all team members must cross the finish line together.

So, here’s your chance to deck out the minivan in all many of outrageous trappings, grab your old buddies from high school or the crew from work and spend a day doing something you’ll never forget.

This year’s walk takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21 and marks the 12th year of the now famous event. Ultra-marathoners and participants come from all over to test their metal, while experiencing the spectacular scenery that the lake has to offer. There are 12 sponsored rest stops along the route who supply food, drinks, porta-potties and medical attendants, not to mention encouragement, warm smiles and plenty of enthusiasm.

So dust off those runners, call up your old bowling team and start perusing the thrift stores for the craziest outfits you can put together. This could be your year to finally master a marathon. There will be a prize for the team that raises the most money for their charity of choice.

If you register your team before July 1, you’ll get a reduced early-bird rate. Check out www.greatlakewalk.com for more details.