Walk your way to accountability and a 5K this summer in Crawford County communities

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Walkers and runners of all ages, shapes and sizes take on a 5K at the county fair every year through the Crawford County on the Move program. In the nine weeks leading up to it, they meet for an hour each week to train and discuss fitness and nutrition tips. Sign up by May 31 to participate this summer. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

Back by popular demand, Crawford County on the Move will be available starting in June, encouraging residents to be more physically active in the beautiful communities in which they live. 

Whether you reside in Prairie du Chien, Wauzeka, Seneca, Gays Mills or Soldiers Grove, this low-cost, nine-week program offers a weekly gathering time and place for participants to benefit from a short health-related lesson, followed by an hour-long group walk/run. Crawford County on the Move’s main goal is for local citizens to complete an optional 5K at the county fair at the conclusion of summer. Though, there are numerous other advantages to joining “the club.” 

Register by May 31 at crossingrivers.org/move or call the Crawford County Health Department to sign-up at 326-0229. Anyone who registers will receive a T-shirt. 

Crawford County on the Move first started in 2010. It took a hiatus for a few years (2017-2018), but is returning because people really liked it.

Led by individual leaders in each community, Crawford County on the Move is the perfect accountability group for people of all ages—from children to those in their 70s and 80s, according to Sonya Lenzendorf, Crawford County Public Health Educator and participant. It provides motivation, tips, door prizes and a group to learn from and be inspired by.

Ann Boland, of Seneca, joined the pack of like-minded movers in her community from the beginning. 

“It was just something to do. I liked the support of the group. It was comforting to know other people have struggles and motivating to see others improve their health,” she said. 

“It’s nice to be out there with other people,” Lenzendorf added, noting that the others are mostly walkers, though there are some runners. “This is intended for people who aren’t active at all to come and just start walking. But it’s also for people who walk already and want to come work into running. It’s for anybody.”

Kicking off the week of June 16, each week, Crawford County on the Move leaders give the lessons that might include nutrition advice or some suggestions specific to walking and running. Training schedules are provided for those working up to the 5K walk on Aug. 24. Other tips are shared via email and on the group’s Facebook page.

“We’re just here to meet people where they’re at with their health and in their communities,” Lenzendorf said.

Boland shared, “There’s no pressure.”

Each of the six groups—two in Prairie du Chien and one in the other communities—has anywhere from six or eight participants to over 30. As long as the volunteer leader is there—rain or shine—the devoted can get moving, and everyone goes at their own pace.

“It can be intimidating,” Boland said. 

However, both women agreed that the walking and running community, across Crawford County and beyond, is generally supportive of all.

“You know all these people in the county are doing this,” Lenzendorf assured. “No matter your shape, this is meant to help people get started. Everybody starts somewhere.”

Families are welcome and can sign up at a discounted rate. Scholarships are available for those who may not be able to pay the nominal fee to join. 

Though registrants typically join just one community group, all are welcome to step into others if they happen to be more convenient from time to time.

The group meetings will take place as follows: 

Seneca—Sundays, 6 p.m., begins June 16, Seneca School cafeteria, leader Ann Boland

Prairie du Chien (AM)—Mondays, 9 a.m., begins June 17, PdC Memorial Library, leader Jane Schaaf

Prairie du Chien (PM)—Tuesdays, 4:45 p.m., begins June 18, Crawford County Administration Building, leader Cindy Riniker

Wauzeka—Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., begins June 18, Century Hall, leader Stacy Swatek

Soldiers Grove—Wednesdays, 6 p.m., begins June 19, 43554 Dull Rd., leader Margaret Davidson 

Gays Mills—Thursdays, 5:30 p.m., begins June 20, ball diamond shelter, leader Dawn Adams

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