Monday morning inspiration! Love this article by Diana Matthews that recently ran in The News Reporter about long time TTL volunteers Grant Egley and Amanda Worley....
He ran and walked the distance of Tennessee. His next goal? Take the Lake
This year’s virtual format for Take the Lake is attracting hardcore athletes and first-timers alike to complete one or more laps around North Carolina’s largest bay lake at their own pace.
Veteran long-distance runner Grant Egley recommends that each participant set a goal to work toward between Aug. 23 and Sept. 7. He hopes that some who have previously been sedentary will keep the exercise habit going after Labor Day.
Last week Egley, 88, finished a 104-day project in which he ran and walked 635 miles, representing the distance across the state of Tennessee “from Memphis to Bristol,” he said.
Egley did all those miles in Lake Waccamaw State Park or on the adjacent Bella Coola Road, where he lives. “20,000 people from all over the world” took part, Egley said.
Fast running is hard on him these days, he said, but he makes up for lost speed with consistency. “I started May first and averaged more than six miles a day, six days a week,” said Egley. “I only missed one day. “
He keeps up this steady pace in order to maintain “general fitness and health,” he said. “I believe in regular exercise. I feel good doing it, and I attribute my good fitness at age 88 to doing this sort of thing for years.”
Egley has been a runner and athlete since his teens and has completed 50- and 100-mile ultra marathons. These days he typically runs about three miles at a time, five or six days a week, so the Tennessee race meant doubling his usual efforts. Egley also walks a mile a day with his wife, Donna Egley.
“We can do more than we think we can do when we’re motivated,” he said.
Take the Lake 2020 will be a much smaller challenge than the Tennessee race. But it will be an uncommon opportunity for the Egleys. Both of them have volunteered for Take the Lake since its beginning. In fact, they pioneered the first group walks around the lake in “about 2005 or 2006,” before the cycling and paddling events were added in 2009.
They have usually not been able to get onto the road themselves during the events because they were too busy helping supervise logistics details for hundreds of other people. This year they have the freedom to concentrate on their own goals.
Donna Egley’s goal is to log 15 miles of walking; her husband’s is “three miles a day of walking and jogging, so a total of about 50 miles. Maybe I’ll do more,” he said, “but I won’t have to. I’m in pretty good shape.”
Egley advises new walkers or runners not to take on a long run until they’ve gradually built up their abilities “30 minutes a day, three or four times a week. Get out and walk a mile a day,” he says. “They can probably do that.”
‘I can do that’
Amanda Worley, 87, will participate in her first TTL this year with a goal of 15 miles or one virtual lap around the lake. “I’ve helped with registration ever since Take the Lake started, but I never participated because I knew I couldn’t walk all the way around the lake, and I certainly couldn’t bike around,” she said.
When she heard about this year’s virtual format, she remembered Johnny McNeill, John Singletary and other friends who walked a mile a day in their 90s. “I can do that,” Worley decided. She already walks her dogs Sally and Basil three times a day in her quiet neighborhood.
She used her pedometer and her car’s odometer to measure the route she would cover and convert it into steps. “I can finally walk around the lake,” she decided.
Worley formed a multi-generational team and named it Mimi’s Mirage. Her daughter and son-in-law Teresa and Richard Hopkins have taken part in the bike and paddling events in past years; they will log their miles with hers this year. Her granddaughter Celia Barbieri committed to cover her miles in Asheville. Granddaughter Kenna Grigorov in Kansas City will join in with sons Alex, 11, and Lucca, 5.
Like Egley, Worley would like to see more people accept the TTL challenge. “You can do it in increments,” she said. “I have friends who walk several times a week and are capable of doing it. They’re all younger than I am.”
To register for the free do-it-yourself fitness challenge, participants should go to takethelake.org and select “Register” from the menu. Steering committee chair Stuart Rogers recommends that users bookmark the site because they will be returning to it each day during the event to log their miles and see their virtual progress around the lake. Miles can be logged starting Aug. 23.
Donations and T-shirt sales support the monitoring site, postage and other behind-the-scenes costs. TTL committee members are volunteers.
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The News Reporter
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DID YOU KNOW...
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