Walk Wisconsin marks 10th year promoting healthy living
Written by Nathan Vine, Stevens Point Journal Media
STEVENS POINT – While people have had different reasons for participating in Walk Wisconsin over the years, the most common links among them are a genuine enjoyment of the event and a desire to support its mission to promote a healthy lifestyle.
On Saturday, the event marked its 10th year, with more than 1,000 participants descending on Pfiffner Pioneer Park in Stevens Point to walk the Green Circle Trail that winds around the community. People could choose between the full 26.2 mile marathon, the 19.6-mile three-quarter marathon, the 13.1-mile half marathon and the 6.5-mile quarter marathon.
Brant Bergeron, who along with John Jury founded the event in 2005, told the first wave of participants who gathered in Pfiffner Park just before 8 a.m. that he was happy to see enthusiasm for the event has continued. State Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, also attended the event to present a proclamation from the state in honor of the 10th anniversary of Walk Wisconsin, and noted that 16,000 walkers has walked more than 200,000 miles on the Green Circle Trail since the event’s founding.
Ben Wild of Stevens Point has been with the event since its inception. Wild, 27, said he started after hearing about it from his mother, Nancy Wild, who also completed her 10th Walk Wisconsin on Saturday.
Wild walked the full marathon with his friend, Corey Stauber of Sturgeon Bay, who started walking the event with Wild in 2009. Wild said he walks two to three times a week during the year to prepare for the event, including a long walk on Saturdays of around 10 miles.
Stauber, meanwhile, said the cold weather earlier this year sometimes relegated him to walking on the treadmill.
“You have to do some work during the year; otherwise, it’s going to be tough when you get here,” Stauber said.
Wild and Stauber completed the event in about six and a half hours, close to their personal best, and say the company helps them through the long walk.
“We talk and listen to music, anything to keep your mind off the pain,” Wild said.
Angel Schecklman, 49, has walked the event the past three years, and this year was joined by Ashley Huber as they completed the quarter marathon. Both work at the Child Care Center of Marshfield, and Huber joked Saturday that the two were walking the quarter marathon because she was less ready to go, even though at 25 years old she’s barely half the age of her friend.
“We had fun walking today, and we’ll be ready to jump up to the half marathon next year,” Schecklman said.
Nathan Vine can be reached at 715-345-2252. Find him on Twitter as @SPJNathanVine.