If you happen to be planning a stroll down Pico Boulevard this upcoming Saturday afternoon, be prepared to cross paths with several hundred sunhat and Jansport backpack-donning passersby participating in the Great Los Angeles Walk of 2016.
The trek takes place every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving weekend. Its proximity to the national holiday provides an incentive to participate – why not work off the monstrous worth of calories you are bound to gain from several helpings of roasted turkey and decadent candied yams at Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy a scenic view in the process?
The Los Angeles Times included the Great LA Walk in their article on “Health Happenings” – a segment on the paper’s website highlighting upcoming events and activities throughout Los Angeles, which focus on bettering physical and mental health throughout the community. A healthy happening indeed – the walk provides an opportunity for local residents to get out of their cubicles, off of their couches, and on their feet for a workout and a memorable experience. The route is intended to pass alongside a few of the most picturesque districts in Los Angeles, providing strollers with many a photo opportunity throughout the expedition as well.
Stretching from downtown LA all the way to the beach, the path traverses a grand total of 16 miles. Though daunting in scope, a 16 mile expedition is nothing to be intimated by – the walk is meant to be a low-stress, casual experience and can be “as long or as short” as participants desire, according to organizer Mike Schneider. On average, it takes about eight hours for the average stroller to complete the trek, but there is no specified time frame to follow, nor are walkers required to complete the entire walk at all. In fact, the new Metro Expo Line runs between the start and the finish lines, in case walkers decide at any time to cut their stroll short.
Amidst the chaos of upcoming midterms and final paper outlines, spending a well-deserved weekend walking alongside strangers for 8 hours or more may not sound enticing to many a stressed student. But the annual excursion is something to at least consider partaking in. It provides an open invitation to residents from all over the greater Los Angeles community to immerse themselves in a city many have only seen behind tinted windows while waiting for streetlights to turn green. It’s a chance to experience the vast expanse of Los Angeles in a new light, up close and personal. Above all, it welcomes residents to step away from the hectic happenings of daily life, to literally stop and smell the roses, and to burn a few calories in the process.
According to the Great LA Walk’s website and blog, the starting point for this year will be at Grand Hope Park, located next to FIDM at the corner of 9th Street and Hope. Participants will meet under the clock tower at 9am sharp. The website also provides parking instructions and public transportation tips on how to get to the park.
The walk itself is, of course, free to the public, but T-Shirts are available for purchase on their website.
The Great LA Walk’s Official Website: http://www.greatlawalk.com
RSVP for the walk here: firstname.lastname@example.org