This Christmas Day, while most people are preparing to open presents and loosen their belts for the Christmas feast that follows, a small group of health-conscious people will be out walking through the woods in Langley, part of an annual holiday event that offers an alternative to sedentary holidays.
Len Colebert, a New Westminster resident who is president of the Surrey Trekkers Volkssport Club said the annual Langley Christmas Day walk is open to people of all ages and fitness levels.
“It’s such a social group of nice, active people,” Colebert said.
“When we walk, sometimes there are 10 (participants), sometimes there’s 40, sometime there’s more. It’s just a good social thing to do and it’s healthy.”
Members come from various communities in Greater Vancouver for walks that take them all over the Lower Mainland, as far east as the Othello Tunnels in Hope and as far north as Whistler and west as the Gulf Islands.
“We also join up with other clubs for special events in places like Victoria or Halifax and the USA.”
Beginners don’t have to fear being physically overwhelmed, he assured.
“There’s always a 5K route and 10K route,” Colebert explained.
On Christmas Day, the walk will begin at 10 a.m., following two paths through various Langley City parks, following water courses beside the Nicomekl River where birds and wildlife can be seen.
To take part, all a first-timer needs to do is attend the start location, the Best Western Plus Langley Inn at 5978 Glover Road, in appropriate clothing and sensible footwear.
“New members get five free walks,” Colbert explained.
“They just have to show up.”
Registration starts half an hour before the 10 a.m. walk start time, Colebert advised.
“We kind of encourage people to show up 9:30, or a quarter to 10 because it takes a while to sign in.”
The Surrey Trekkers Volkssport Club is a member of the Internationaler Volkssportverband (IVV), the Canadian Volkssport Federation, and the Volkssport Association of BC.
It’s stated goal is to promote good health and physical fitness by encouraging people to enjoy outdoor exercise in pleasant, stress-free settings.
“We do this by offering walkers of all ages and physical fitness an opportunity to enjoy new walking experiences each weekend and holiday in the year,” the website declares.