BRIDGETOWN, N.S. - Brush off those sneakers! Bridgetown’s popular 12-week Learn to Run Program is returning this month with a Learn to Walk Program. Both programs promote an active, outdoor lifestyle while providing people a social connection.
The programs, with instructors Louise and John LeDuc (running) and Karen Beals (walking), will start on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Bridgetown Trojan Centre (26 Bay Rd.) and will last for 12 weeks.
The program will include three walks/runs per week – Saturday (10 a.m.), Monday (6 p.m.) and Wednesday (6 p.m.). In lieu of a registration fee, people are being asked to contribute a freewill donation that will go to the Bridgetown Community Recreation Association Minor Sports Fund.
Louise LeDuc said that there have been more than 200 people join the Learn to Run Program since it started in 2011, offering a fun activity in Bridgetown during the winter months. The addition of the walking program will encourage even more people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
“It’s a perfect time of year to do this. The air is crisp and so invigorating. I watch people overcome their fear of being outside during the winter months,” said Louise LeDuc.
“Participants keep a pace that is comfortable for them. It really is suitable for just about anyone. I’m always impressed how people with no experience in running take up the challenge and how they achieve their personal best.”
Beals was involved with the running program for the past six years and said it continues to challenge her. Since participating in the program she has taken part in a variety of runs, including 5Ks, 10Ks and even a half marathon, 21K, with her daughter. She was so inspired by the running program she decided to partner with Louise and John LeDuc this year to offer a 12-Week Learn to Walk Program which will take place the same time as the Learn to Run Program.
“I felt there was a need for a walking program that resembled the 12-Week Learn to Run Program. The programs go hand-in-hand and participants just may be encouraged to challenge themselves to try the running program in the future,” said Beals.
“The thought of putting yourself out there can be very daunting but no matter what fitness level, finishing a 5K walking program is accessible for most everyone,” she said. “Both programs truly rewards you physically and mentally.”
Former participants of the running program continue to be big supporters.
“I am not an athlete and was very nervous about trying (the program) but Louise, John and the rest of the group were so inspiring and encouraging that I soon overcame my fears,” said Zena Rice. “By the end of the 12 weeks I was hooked. I’m so glad I had the chance to make new friends, achieve personal goals, and improve my overall health. I can’t wait to sign up again in the New Year.”
“When I joined the running program two years ago I was uncertain because of my age,” said Heather Stewart. “But I loved the support group and met a few new friends. It was a great way to keep a positive attitude when the winter seems so long, and this past summer I ran three, 5K runs.”
Registration for the 12-week Learn to Walk/Run programs will be on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Bridgetown Trojan Centre, 26 Bay Road. If you have any questions, please call Louise LeDuc at 902-665-2476 or Karen Beals at 902-584-3798.