The World Around Us

Walk of woMAN

Country: Canada by Marlowe


Walk of woMAN promotional email

Walk of woMAN promotional email

The Walk of woMAN was a charity walk completed by Marlowe, Lisette and a couple of friends on Saturday July 10th, 2010. The walk was 47 km long started at 9AM and followed a straight line down Yonge Street from David Drive in Newmarket to 1 Yonge Street at Lake Ontario. Lisette joined Marlowe at Finch Avenuewith 16KM left in total. The couple would be joined by two more women at the Eaton Centre before reaching the Lake at the foot on Yonge Street at 6PM; nine hours after the walk started.

Proceeds went to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. Here is some information, taken from their mission statement:

Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter is an organization run by women, provides support and shelter for women and children escaping violence. They assist women and children in rebuilding their lives by providing crisis intervention and a range of holistic support services, while acknowledging the multitude of issues facing survivors of abuse. They adapt their services to honour diversity and the unique needs of the individual. They promote awareness, education and advocates for early intervention and prevention.

Walk highlights and photos

9AM: The starting line

Marlowe starts WoW in Newmarket

Marlowe starts WoW in Newmarket on a long and winding sidewalk

Fresh and full after a large breakfast, I depart from the busy intersection of Davis Drive and Yonge. Preparations like Google Maps and scoping out the road in a car are never quite enough to prevent surprises for when you have to get down to it. When you’re looking to make good time, straight paths are nice and winding paths like this one are not.

10AM–1PM: A lonely road

At this point I missed the earlier sidewalks and the morning shade as both became few and far between. By midday I found myself on a couple of highway-like stretches (between 5 and 10 KM apiece) with no sidewalks (but plenty of fast-moving cars), lots of hills and nothing that vaguely resembled shade. Definitely the sweatiest and most boring part of the walk.

2:45PM: Civilization starts at the subway line

Marlowe and Lisette in downtown Toronto

Marlowe and Lisette in downtown Toronto with Jennifer right behind

After six hours mostly alone, you get used to walking on gravel sometimes, being exposed to the elements, not seeing much of anything. Though there’s a gradual increase in development as you go south on Yonge (and I didn’t exactly start in the boonies), reaching Finch felt really urban! It also meant I’d have company; in the form of my wife (second from left).

2:45-4PM: The big push

The challenges outside the city had been fighting dehydration and poor walking routes. Having walked 31KMs to Toronto, you could say these challenges were replaced with sore joints and the need to stop frequently at intersections. There would be no more breaks after this; just straight down to the Lake.

4PM-6PM: Day’s end

Everyone at the Finish line with Ernestine's banner

Everyone at the Finish line with Ernestine’s banner

Lisette and I were joined at the Eaton Centre by two friends who would see us to the Lake. I had refused to take a break after Highway #7 to improve my time. Maybe for this reason my foot swelled up around College Street, slowing me down considerably. After another 15 minutes however, we found ourselves at the foot of Yonge Street to a small but appreciative group of supporters — friends and some Ernestine’s staff.

I would like to warmly thank everyone who was involved in supporting me before and during the 46.8KMs and those who contributed to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. If you still wish to make a contribution, you still can.

See the “45km NEWMARKET” in the image to the right? That was actually one of the smaller measurements embedded into the pavement at 1 Yonge St. Right near it was one that said “88km BARRIE”. Sounds like a worthwhile challenge. See you next year.