Not just any walk

Rich and Maria Finchum receive sandwich certificates for their marathon from Tim Chesney of Bruegger’s at the Promenade.

What is 26.21875 miles and has 15 participants? Before anyone thinks this is a trick question on a math test or a knock-knock joke, know that it is just one of the many fun activities in the community services dept.'s "Fifty Plus" programs at Westlake Center.

Known as a Golden Marathon, 15 participants over the age of 50 participated. This is the seventh marathon in as many years through the Center with walkers committed to trails and parkways twice a month for six to seven months in order to complete the 26-mile, 385-yard walk.

The walks spanned a two-county area, pre-determined by the activity staff, with the theme “Build A Better You.” To accompany the theme a large paper sandwich would be built on the 12-foot bulletin board at the Center. Each month ingredients could be added as stretches of the marathon were completed, beginning and ending with a plain bun but in between the walkers would add condiments and proteins.

The marathon was completed earlier this month and all walkers celebrated with bagels, breakfast casseroles, fruit, etc., provided by Bruegger’s at Westlake’s Promenade and Manor Care North Olmsted. As a special bonus for those completing the marathon, a certificate for a breakfast sandwich (appropriate for the theme) from Bruegger’s was awarded by their associate field marketing manager, Tim Chesney.

Many of the marathoners are part of the Center’s Walking Group – a year-round assembly of patrons who walk twice each week; this activity has been in existence for well over 20 years. A number of the marathoners continued their healthy activities during this same time by participating in the summer National Senior Games.

In past years the themes have included (virtual) walking of the Underground Railroad, the Lincoln Highway, and Ohio and Westlake Bicentennial sites. Although not decided, the theme for the 2014 marathon could well center around the 200th anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner," building the song with musical notes or perhaps even a banner with stars. Complete information will be available on the city’s website,, in late April for the 2014 marathon beginning in mid-May.

Joyce Able Schroth

Director, Community Services Department, City of Westlake

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.12.2013