Walk 100 Miles effort starts with stroll

Camden Clark, Highmark partner on event

Highmark West Virginia President Jim Fawcett leads a contingent of Highmark employees down Market Street in Parkersburg toward the kickoff of the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days event in Bicentennial Park Monday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Nearly three dozen employees of Camden Clark Medical Center, Highmark West Virginia and the City of Parkersburg went for a walk Monday.

Despite the less-than-spring-like conditions, Camden Clark kicked off the local portion of WVU Medicine’s 24th annual Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days campaign, aimed at encouraging people to develop the healthy habit of walking.

“I hope that hundreds of people walk the hundred miles in the next hundred days,” Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce said during brief remarks at Bicentennial Park.

Louis A. Haer Jr., director of the Camden Clark Health and Wellness Center, said walking has a number of benefits, including lowering one’s heart rate and blood pressure and relieving stress. Perhaps best of all, it’s free.

“It doesn’t cost you anything to go out and take a walk around town,” he said.

Employees of Camden Clark Medical Center and Highmark West Virginia traverse the half-mile walking route near the Wood County Courthouse and Parkersburg Municipal Building laid out as part of the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days program after the event kicked off Monday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Three walking routes have been mapped and highlighted on a sign at the corner of Market and Third streets. They include a quarter-mile track centered on the Highmark building at Seventh and Market, a half-mile route around the Municipal Building and a full mile along Market Street.

Last year’s event was open to Camden Clark employees and family members, but Haer said they received requests from other people in the community to participate. So this year, the hospital partnered with Highmark, the city and Main Street PKB and invited members of the public to sign up and track their progress.

The deadline to join has passed, but Haer said people don’t have to be official participants to join in the effort, which continues through July 24.

Aside from the obvious personal physical rewards, Highmark West Virginia President Jim Fawcett said there can be social and even economic benefits as people get their steps in along the routes.

“We’re also hoping it’s good for the merchants downtown,” he said.

Camden Clark Medical Center employees, including President and CEO Steve Altmiller, left, joined in the kickoff for the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days event Monday in downtown Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Employees of Camden Clark Medical Center, Highmark West Virginia and the City of Parkersburg pose for a photo next to the sign outlining a trio of downtown walking routes for the Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days event Monday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

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