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The Graham Walks Program: Why Run/Walk Groups?

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Monday,

Last week we had the pleasure of having Aaron Davis and Kristen Herndon of the Graham Recreation and Parks Department, present our November Wellness Webinar. Their presentation consisted of discussing the Graham Walks Program, a 5 week incentive-based walking program held during the spring and fall seasons. The Graham Walks Program is a free program, with the goal to encourage community members to actively engage themselves in the outdoors and most importantly to exercise!

The mission of Graham Walks is to have the participants walk 100 miles within the 5 week program. Participants are required to keep their own logs and check-in every Thursday. For every 10 miles walked, the participants receive a small prize, some prizes include: pedometers, key chains, pens, gift cards, first aid kits, tote bags, t-shirts, water bottles, mugs, lanyards, health screenings, shoe evaluations, magnets, towels, flash lights, calendars, and stickers. Once they reach the ultimate goal of 100 miles they are entered in a drawing for a bigger prize! The program also includes a walking ambassador, this is a volunteer that is usually a fitness walking guru or enthusiast, whose aim is to share their journey and help new participants learn the walking/running routes. For more information, please visit Graham Walks webpage. Also, if you missed the Graham Walks presentation, you can watch by clicking the following Vimeo link:

So why run/walk groups? Run/Walk groups are a perfect way to get community members active while educating them about their community and local park system. Just like the Graham Walks Program, it is important to help connect community members with the means of becoming more health conscious, and at the same time, enjoying each other’s company! Walking programs can be the perfect opportunity to involve local stakeholders and sponsors. Graham Walks has an established day when local vendors come out and discuss their business with walking participants. It creates a stronger support system and network within the community!


Additionally, this coming April 2016, NCRPA is hosting the first ever statewide 5k. If your department is currently registered to participate, then a run/walk program is a perfect way to prepare the runners in your community. For more information on how to get your department involved in our NC Recre8 5k race, visit the race page:, or contact myself ( ) or matt ( If you want additional information and sources of other physical activity programs, then check out our Physical Activity Programs homepage! Your department can implement an idea like Graham Walks to get your department and community member’s active and outside in local parks.


If you have any incentive-based walking or running programs, then we would love to hear from you! Please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (,




Tags:  NC Recre8 5k race  NCRPA  Run/Walk Groups  Wellness 

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