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Why are you doing this event?


February 9, 2013, represented the 50th anniversary of the walk that Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, took along the the C&O Canal towpath. At the time, it was a way of sparking interest in physical fitness that this brother, the President, had been encouraging. The idea of walking, and the challenge of walking long distances, has been sidelined lately in our modern culture. What we are hoping to do is re-awaken an interest in "pedestrianism" and, in particular walking, as a means to stay fit and healthy that almost everyone can aspire to.

As a result of the 1963 RFK walk, and a related proclamation that John F. Kennedy ordered for our troops - that they walk 50 miles to prove their fitness - a public fad grew in 1963 to try walking 50-miles. That thousands might try to walk 50-miles overnight might seem unbeleivable today, but it was even more incredible then, as there was little emphasis on on physical fitness. Even though endurance sports were limited then, there was less reliance on cars and plenty of opportuntiies to be active and healthy. This was also the time of the cold war which brought with it a national competitive spirit - that we could and must strive to be better.

This event provides a way for the general public to participate together in a large-scale form of exercise and engage in history again, while visiting a different environment at a closer vantage point. Distance walking and "pedestrianism" is as old as mankind. It is as a result of our dependence on automobiles and other forms of transportation that our society has changed our communities. There are health and societal implications to our public policies. A walking event such as this follows a national movement to encourage and consider pedestrians (walking and cycling) in all community and transportation projects.