For more than half a century, the Langley Walk has encouraged residents to take part in an outdoor activity with family and friends.
This year, on May 4, the 52nd annual walk â€“ both a five- and a 10-kilometre route â€“ will start and finish from the Fort Langley National Historic Site at 23433 Mavis Ave.
It is organized jointly by the Township and City of Langley.
Barbara Andersen, a health and fitness programmer with the Township, stressed the importance of Langley residents taking time for themselves.
â€œThereâ€™s so many walks out there for other causes,â€ she said. â€œThis is about the Langley residentsâ€™ health and happiness. Itâ€™s something for them to do with friends and family, and a time to think about themselves. Itâ€™s well supported by both [Township and City] communities.â€
This yearâ€™s walk will see an interesting addition. The Walk with Your Doc campaign ties in perfectly with the Langley Walk.
â€œItâ€™s a program for local doctors to walk the talk about physical fitness,â€ Andersen noted. â€œTheyâ€™re always saying to get more exercise; this is them doing it.â€
The Walk with Your Doc program, developed around the World Health Organizationâ€™s Move for Health Day, runs May 3 to 11, and is now in its fifth year.
Eight Langley doctors will be participating in the Langley Walk as part of Walk with Your Doc.
In addition to taking part, expect to see your own local doctor using a prescription pad of a different kind.
Doctors of B.C. (formerly the B.C. Medical Association) issued pads to their members that are specific to exercise, to encourage doctors to discuss the benefits of regular physical activity for overall health.
While Walk with Your Doc is only in itâ€™s fifth year, it wonâ€™t take away from the 52 years of celebration at the Langley Walk.
The two combine to create an opportunity for family and friends to walk, run and bike.
Plus, every participant receives a commemorative crest.
â€œWe have copies of crests back into the first years,â€ Andersen said. â€œWe believe they were given out every one of the 52 years.â€
Participants need not register beforehand. Registration, at the Fort, begins at noon, with the walk getting underway at 1:30 p.m.
Expect entertainment and refreshments before, during, and after the event.
There will be water stations along the route.
â€œWeâ€™re asking people to bring a refillable water bottle to help reduce the amount of garbage produced,â€ Andersen said.
Both Natureâ€™s Fare Markets and Wendellâ€™s Bookstore and Cafe will be on hand, supplying healthy snacks to participants.
A variety of community groups will also be at the walk to feature their involvement in the region and how residents can get involved.
All walkers will be eligible for draw prizes, but for those interested in the big awards, once again, trophies and prizes will be awarded for the most walkers from an elementary school, a secondary school/middle school, an organization, and a family.
A special award will also be presented to the oldest walker.
â€œThe Humberstone family has won [most walkers from a family] for a number of years,â€ Andersen noted. â€œI expect them to be out in full force to defend their title.â€
In addition to the walk itself, families will find plenty to do. There will be bouncy castles, facepainting, and even ball hockey with the Langley Rivermen.