Few people can say they’ve walked across Canada, and fewer still can say they did it inside a shopping mall.
One hundred and one members of the Guildford Town Centre Walking Club earned those bragging rights on May 10 after completing their final laps around the mall. Since March 10 they’ve travelled, one foot in front of the other, more than 24,000 kilometres – that’s roughly 150 kilometres each day – and recorded their progress on a map in the mall.
They say it was a virtual walk across Canada via the Trans Canada Trail. One of the most lengthiest trails on the planet, it runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean.
Peggy Howard, general manager of Guildford Town Centre, said the walking club’s members have become “part of our extended family” at the shopping mall.
“We are proud of their accomplishment and pleased to be able to support the community to stay active throughout the year,” she said.
Connie Waterman, a certified fitness instructor and coordinator of the walking club, said her group was “so overwhelmed with the support and encouragement” they received from the mall.
She said the walking club is most thankful for the $1,000 donation Guildford Town Centre made in the club’s name to the upkeep of the trail.
Members of the Guildford Town Centre Walking Club have been keeping pace in the mall — and keeping dry on rainy days — since 1981, boosting their heart rates, releasing stress and getting flexible in a safe area. They walk year round, and host fun events like the Easter Bonnet Walk, Halloween Howl and Jingle Bell Walk.