New West and Burnaby residents will once again battle for supremacy in the Walk 30 Challenge.
After a one-year hiatus because of COVID-19, residents in the neighbouring communities will lace up their shoes and compete to see who can rack up the most steps during a five-week walking challenge. From May 10 to June 13, participants will track their walking stats in an attempt to help their community come out on top and win the Gold Shoe trophy and bragging rights.
Developed by the City of New Westminster and City of Burnaby Healthier Community Partnership committees, the annual health promotion campaign encourages community members to walk 30 minutes a day for five weeks. Organizers note that walking vigorously for 30 minutes a day is a low-barrier activity that helps prevent many chronic illnesses.
The New Westminster’s Walkers Caucus launched the Walk30 Challenge in 2006 to encourage walkability in New West, and the City of Burnaby joined in on the challenge in 2017. New Westminster won the Golden Shoe trophy in 2018 and 2019, when its residents tracked the most steps per capita.
In addition to inspiring people to walk to improve their health, the challenge aims to get people rethinking about how they can get around their community.
Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) is coordinating this year’s Walk 30 Challenge.
The Walk 30 Challenge website includes an “Isabel’s Walks” section that includes a map with suggested walking routes. This year’s Walk 30 Challenge is also teaming up with local businesses in Burnaby and New West to offer prizes as a part of weekly draws to all participants.
To get more information and to sign up for this year’s Walk 30 Challenge, go to www.best.bc.ca/walk30.
It remains to be seen whether New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote and Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley will wager a side bet as they did in 2019 – when they agreed the losing city’s mayor would wear gold lamé pants and serve breakfast at a local non-profit. In the end, both Hurley and Cote donned gold lamé pants and served a meal at the Union Gospel Mission in New West.