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Walkers Don Sneakers to Help Chancellor Kick Off ‘Walk UCSD’

By Ioana Patrigenaru | June 12, 2006

Walkers Don Sneakers to Help Chancellor Kick Off ‘Walk UCSD’
Chancellor Marye Anne Fox led about 200 participants on a short walk during Friday's Walk UCSD kick off.

Some, including Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, wore shorts and sneakers. Others donned dress pants and comfortable shoes. One even pushed a stroller. 

All 200 of them braved cloudy skies Friday to kick off UCSD’s new walking program. Walk UCSD aims to help staff, faculty and students stay fit, or get in shape. It offers nine walking routes throughout campus and allows participants to track their mileage. Walkers also can use their own, home-made itineraries. So far, more than 400 people have registered for the program online.

An e-mail suggestion from an employee led to the creation of Walk UCSD, Chancellor Fox told the crowd gathered around Niki de Saint Phalle’s Sun God statue.

“I want you to know that the administration cares about your wellness, your health,” she said.

She encouraged her audience to take advantage of the campus’ trails. She also said she hopes walkers get together and get to know one another. Then, around 12:15 p.m., she led participants on the Sun God Stroll, one of the easier routes. About half a mile long, it starts at the Sun God statue, then winds its way around Peterson Hall, downhill to the Student Health complex and the Career Services Center and then back uphill to the Sun God.

Elena Lelea, a fund manager in the biology department, said she hopes the program will help her train for San Diego’s  three-day Breast Cancer Walk. She already walks three days a week. David Moore, who works at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, walked Friday with his mother-in-law, B.J. Shannon. They had taken along 4-month-old Kiera, who napped in her stroller, while her dad and grandmother got some exercise. Moore said he believes he logs 10 to 15 miles a week, just by strolling around campus. His walks allowed him to discover little known art works, he said.

Walkers Don Sneakers to Help Chancellor Kick Off ‘Walk UCSD’
Chancellor Fox and other participants take a look at a map of the Sun God Stroll, the half-a-mile route they walked Friday.

At 15 miles per week, it won’t take Moore long to become eligible for Walk UCSD’s rewards. He’s just 10 weeks away from a UCSD Recreation bottle, awarded at 150 miles, and 20 weeks away from a workout towel, awarded at 300 miles. Marisel Rodriguez, who was walking a few yards ahead of Moore Friday, said she looks forward to these incentives, too. “You can get motivated,” she said. Rodriguez, who works in Student Health Services, said she walks three times a week all over campus and beyond, venturing as far as the cliffs that overlook La Jolla Shores.

Participants in Friday’s kick off also had the opportunity to win free goodies during a raffle, including two summer Rec Cards and an iPod. The raffle took place after the end of the half a mile walk, which most completed in 10 minutes or less.

“It was quick and easy,” said Tim Truitt, a manager in computer science and engineering.

He said he was looking for a little exercise and plans to combine walking with Tai Chi classes to stay in shape.

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