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Personal challenge: 35-km trek across town in one day

BY CORY MORRISON

Do you like to exercise? Do you remember when your parents told you that you could only walk a certain distance from home in your childhood? Do you enjoy what nature has to offer?

If any of these apply to you, I introduce a walking outdoors challenge involving travelling across most of Oakville in about a seven-hour period. I created this challenge and decided to take it on a chilly, sunny Saturday. Snow, ice, and puddles were all over the place, but this did not stop me from putting both of my feet forward in this challenge.

Map by Cory Morrison/Sheridan Sun.

Starting point: I wake up at around 8 a.m. as I planned. I was worried that I would sleep in at first, but after having an interesting dream, my brain reminds me to get up. I decide to mentally prepare myself for 15 minutes in my room. I spend this time looking at social media. Who likes feeling rushed? I don’t. I bundle up before walking out of my basement bedroom and climbing upstairs. I leave my house at 8:22 a.m.

I walk out the front door (Videos by Cory Morrison/Sheridan Sun).

Part 1: The first part of this walk has the iciest sidewalks. However, I don’t fall. I stay extra careful.

Iroquois Ridge Community Centre on Glenashton Drive (Photos by Cory Morrison/Sheridan Sun).

After walking through much of northeast Oakville, I record my five-kilometre point on Upper Middle Road East between Grand Boulevard and Joshua’s Creek Drive at 9:27 a.m.

I walk along Upper Middle Road East.

Part 2: I walk south down Ford Drive. I spend a lot of time walking on snow. However, as I go south of the QEW, I notice that the sidewalks are not quite as icy. This is a relief for me.

Ford Drive area.

I record my 10-kilometre point on Ford north of Lakeshore Road East at 10:27 a.m.

I walk along Ford Drive.

Part 3: I walk through southeast Oakville on Lakeshore. Part 3 feels long for me. My legs are also tired the most in this part. I stop several times to let joggers pass. I even say hi to them first. This is not a normal thing for me to do because I get nervous around unfamiliar people.

A row of trees along Lakeshore.
Near Lake Ontario in Downtown Oakville.
Oakville Public Library Central Branch on the corner of Lakeshore and Navy Street.

I capture my 15-kilometre point on Lakeshore Road West by Kerr Street at 11:38 a.m.

I walk along Lakeshore Road West.

Part 4: I continue to walk along Lakeshore. My legs are still tired, but not as tired as they were in part 3. The sidewalks are again not icy, just sloppy. I step in a huge puddle by Coronation Park and get my shoes briefly soaked.

Coronation Park by Lake Ontario.

I capture my 20-kilometre point on Lakeshore by Third Line at 12:37 p.m.

I continue to walk along Lakeshore.

Part 5: I still walk along Lakeshore. I get hungry at this point. I make a brief stop for lunch.

Former site of Bronte Village Mall.

Afterward, I turn right on Bronte Road. I walk on a lot of snow. My walk up to the QEW is slightly rough. At this point, I think “Can I use Uber and say that I at least tried this challenge?” I tell myself no because I want to prove that I can do it. I film my 25-kilometre point on Bronte by the QEW at 1:51 p.m.

I walk along Bronte Road.

Part 6: I find some wider sidewalks to walk on. They are not icy. I still try to dodge puddles though. I turn right on Dundas Street West. At this point, I think “I have made it this far? Wow.” I film my 30-kilometre point on Dundas by Postmaster Drive at 2:52 p.m.

I walk along Dundas Street West.

Part 7: My phone slowly runs out of battery. I turn it off for a while to ensure that I can still record once I finish the challenge. I walk along Dundas with no difficulties. I actually walk faster in the last part than any other part of the walk. I record my finishing point at Harman Gate Park at 3:50 p.m.

I go through the finish point at Harman Gate Park.

As soon as I arrive home, my right leg begins to hurt before my left foot and right ankle hurt. They are minor pains that go away after a couple of hours. I have a sore throat overnight, but it slowly goes away.

I enjoyed the challenge. It was tough, but I felt good doing it.

My results:

• Walking distance: Thirty-four kilometres when including the route. Thirty-five kilometres when including walking out of the house and at rest stop.

Walking time: Just over seven hours when including the route. Seven and a half hours when including the rest stop.

Number of steps: Near 50,000

Tips for people who want to try this or a similar challenge:

• Dress appropriately for the weather.

• Only wear running shoes. Walking in boots, high-heels, or open-toed shoes can be painful to wear for long distances.

• Be aware of where there is construction or sidewalks.

• Make sure your phone is charged at 100 per cent before you go, even if you don’t plan on taking pictures or filming anything. You never know if an emergency will arise and you end up having to call, text or Uber.

• Take at least one rest stop, even if it is as simple as buying water from a convenience store.

Written by
Cory Morrison

Cory Morrison is a second-year Journalism student at Sheridan College. He has well-known passions for writing and weather reporting. His passions for these two things inspired him to enroll in Sheridan's Journalism program. He also has autism spectrum disorder.

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