Walk Wisconsin draws over 1,000
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – Looming clouds and light rain didn’t stop over 1,100 walkers from making tracks at the 15th annual Walk Wisconsin on June 1.
Dubbed the Midwest’s “premier walking event” by organizers, the non-competitive walk has grown into a local tradition for many Portage County inhabitants.
“This is our 15th year,” said Tawnya Schilt, event leader and a founding member of Walk Wisconsin. “As part of the Inaugural Committee, we are all very proud of it. It’s all to get people in a healthier lifestyle.”
Walkers decide whether they want to participate in a full marathon, measuring 26.2 miles, a half marathon, or a quarter section — each with separate starting times. All participants gathered at Pfiffner Pioneer Park in Stevens Point after the race.
Schilt said that Walk Wisconsin has positively affected thousands of individuals throughout the area over the years, and she is thrilled to have played a part in the project.
“To impact so many people is pretty cool,” Schilt said. “It’s massively supported in this community, and I think that’s because it’s a program that works. It’s not competitive. There’s no running, no timing chip. Everybody succeeds.”
Proceeds from the program support the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin Wellness Fund. The Wellness Fund is used to fuel engaging Portage County activities and programs. “We use that money to say, ‘what other activities in town and things can we do to get people moving,’” Schilt said. “The idea is to get people off the couch.”
Walk Wisconsin provides an accessible way for Wisconsinites to hit the trails and challenge their athletic prowess in a non-competitive environment, allowing for personal growth and insight into healthy living practices.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.