For the past four years, I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the 24-hour Relay for Life, the only one of its kind in Canada.
It is indeed a wonderful occasion to celebrate with the survivors and to reflect fondly on those who have passed away. My hat comes off to the very well-intended organizers of this beautiful event, which raises thousands and thousands of dollars annually.
Of all the 24-hour participants in this year's event, only four were repeat walkers. For any number of reasons, one may withdraw from the relay. Age, illness, energy and other commitments all come into play.
In speaking with all the walkers during last week's event, there was one main reason given as to why they may not walk next year - the condition of the surface area.
Walking 101 would suggest you probably should not walk on concrete or pavement for a 24-hour period.
From experience, I was laid up for two days after this year's event, due to foot fatigue. In previous years, after walking a 24-hour period at Masich Place Stadium, I was still capable of taking my dogs for a walk afterwards.
The only reason for such a complete and utter comparison was the difference in walking surface.
When you consider all aspects of the surface area, it begs the question why not utilize Masich Place Stadium? After all, our tax dollars were used to build the stadium. It was constructed and recently renovated, specifically, to accommodate walkers and/or runners. There are those who say there is no area for tents and other amenities required for the comfort of the walkers. My suggestion is to use the PGSS soccer fields adjacent to the oval for this purpose. The surface area at CN Centre is not suitable for a 24-hour endurance test. The cracks, the ridges and general surface is murder to the feet - believe me, I know!
I would hate to see many of the walkers choose not to participate next year because of surface conditions when there is a very clear alternative.
Would the powers that be and all others involved in the Relay for Life please take into consideration this humble proposal? Thank you.