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Review of 2015 Support & New for 2017

on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:06

After reviewing the post-event survey (February 2015) it appeared that the level of support was lacking for many, but not all walkers.

The essential problem was a lack of coordination of the support staff as to where and when to be present. Also, support staff did not appear to know enough about the event and where to go. A support member on a bike in touch with the team would help, especially in the later stages. 

Some of the issues are chronic problems for a long free-style walk where the distance between walkers grows and it gets harder to cover everyone. Yet, it's at those critical stress times where support is most needed and appreciated. 

What we learned is that on future events of this distance and time of the year we need a better support structure, a schedule of stops and a clear understanding of what to expect of support. Ironically, more participants make support better because we can provide a larger support staff that can cover more ground. 

Here's a summary of the post-event survey that anyone can view.

Click here for FreeWalkers' WalkTalk - our summary of comments and suggestions extracted from the survey.

And Now for 2017...

We heard you on ways to improve the event. Here are a few ways we will make this the best Kennedy50 yet...

  • More cars/vans. We will be adding an adequate number of support vehicles and coordinate them better.
  • More experienced staff. We are calling on several FreeWalker members to dedicate their time to this event and add to our support staff. We know from experience what a successful event takes.
  • Better organization at the start and registration
  • Bike monitoring of the trail. We will have at least one rider checking in on partcipants.
  • Guaranteed rides back on Saturday. The ride back is an option. But we will staff up with drivers and vehicles to take those signed up back from Harpers Ferry. 
  • Free event t-shirt
  • Free post-event party food & drink (at Econo Lodge,Harpers Ferry)
  • We will start the event this year at the C&O Canal parking area across from the Anglers Inn which looks to be a better place to start and true to the original story of the 1963 RFK walk.

However, to insure we can deliver a quality event a few items from past events will be discontinued because of our limitations...

  • If you are staying in Harpers Ferry Saturday night you must make your own arrangements. Econo Lodge is offering a discount price if you mention "FreeWalkers", You might try B&Bs, airbnb or another motel or two in the area. We'll try to connect participants to share room space, if you desire.
  • There will be no FreeWalkers van service from Harpers Ferry on Sunday. This was provided in the past. We suggest teaming up for an Uber or taking the 11:00 am train to Union Station, Washington DC