NJ2NY50 - May 23, 2010

FreeWalkers talk about walking events

Event: The Big Walk - May 23, 2010


Comments after walking event

Dolores McKeough,
New York, NY

If we do it again I'll do more than the 4 miles this time. I met the group as they left PATH in NYC and walked up to Penn Station with them. It was fun; good conversation and a chance to look at the City lights.

Steve Marano,
Nutley, NJ

Fun and rewarding.
Met lots of interesting people.
Regret I couldn't go further,
but stress-fractured ankle couldn't take it!

C. Kiczek,
Princeton, NJ

I loved it...it was a beautiful day along with great people and fantastic scenery made the day a lot of fun and I would love to do it again. Thanks Paul for all your work in organizing this unique event.

Janice Risko,
Rahway, NJ

Well I got further than I thought I got to Nomahegan Park which was 10 miles. The walk was really enjoyable I really did enjoy it I was trying for Black Brook Park but my son did not know where that was to pick me up from..lol,,,I did have a very good time! Thanks everyone and good luck to all that were aiming for NYC!

Risa olinsky,
Maplewood, NJ

My business and passion is helping others learn to love taking take care of their bodies and feel empowered by doing so. Even as a wellness coach, I always look for events to motivate me - something new and different to stretch my daily workouts- this was surely one. It was inspiring and most of all FUN! Fun being a key word.

Montclair, NJ

had a great time! everyone was so nice and friendly :)
so impressed with all the walkers that started from metropark...
can't wait to do it again next year

Carol Minarchenko,
Linden, NJ

It was a great experience was looking forward to doing more but told my co walker if she couldn;t make it anymore i'd get us a ride so that's what i did but it was well worth. It was nice to find trails I never new about. Now I can take my 10 years son on a few walks. I feel good today hope you all do to.
To my sister Gilda you go Girl, knew you make it all the way.

Igor Goldberg,
Rockaway, NJ

The Big Walk was a huge success.
It was organized by a wonderful person and recognized by many motivated citizens.
I had a great time walking and talking with other people.
I think "The Big Walk" is a "must have" addition to a modern "Facebook-SMS-Skype" world.

Thank you PAUL and Thank you ALL.

Coralyn Gorlicki,
Edison, NJ

After I registered for the Walk I realized I should have put down a shorter distance for my goal. I ended at the Boston Market. It was a lot of fun, but my legs gave out at 18 miles and I had to quit. (My husband picked up me and my friend.) We are thinking of doing more long distance walking and then entering again if the event is scheduled again (or else maybe finishing by going twice more if it turns out to be an annual event.) I would have liked to have done the 50 mile hike in 1963 when President Kennedy was pushing it and I was much younger.. However Iwas 8-9 pregnant so could not do it then.

Gary W. Sanderson,
Verona, NJ

Walked with Sabine Von Aulack. We had a great experience, and we want to do another walk in the near future.

Justin Kiczek,
Jersey City, NJ

It was amazing! I really loved it. Great job, Dad!

Sabine von Aulock,
Bloomfield, NJ

But I liked the walk so much, I am planning on trying it again this Sunday 05/30/2010. (From Newark, Penn Station to NYC).

Irma Goldberg,
Rockaway, NJ

It was a great workout, I really enjoyed the walk! Definitely looking forward to more in the future :)

Jane Nix,
Denville, NJ

I really enjoyed the parks we walked through. Also, it was great to meet and speak to a whole lot of very interesting people. (But I'm still a little sore, 5 days later!)

Jennifer Chaky,
Montclair, NJ

I walked with the group from Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station. (20-25 miles?) I did not know I could do that! I am grateful for the experience and for the wonderful people I met. I am very inspired to seek out more trails in my area of northern NJ.

John Pernas,
Palisades Park, NJ

This is a joyous event which brings great conversation. The terrain and paths taken are unique from what I am used to as a long distance runner. I enjoyed crossing great places to eat and important landmarks. I am proud of my friends in their dedication to their training and look forward to many steps ahead.

Robert Ruhno,
Newark, NJ

The walk was great! I wasn't sure how well i would do, since none of my training walks were any longer than 5 miles. My friend, John, joined me on the walk (but we never ran into anyone else). If there is another walk next year, I will definitely start at Metro-park with everyone else.

Jim Gregoire,
Watchung, NJ

It was a great day. Enjoyed the camraderie and conversation.

Tom Landes,
Allenhurst, NJ

Paul: You did an outstanding job organizing this affair and it went flawlessly as far as I could see. Thank you so much and I look forward to our celebration in Asbury Park. Right now June 12 or 19 look good for the reunion. The 19th is also open. The people were great, I had some wonderful chats. Great weather (at least til Newark). Thank you, thank you thank you.

Philadelphia, PA

We had a great time!

Naomi Hsu,
Jersey City, NJ

What a memorable experience! I learned a lot about the importance of good signage, my (in)ability to read a map, and the different neighborhoods along the ECG. Congratulations to all!

Ian Hochstead,
Brooklyn, NY

After leaving Liberty State Park, I continued around the Zeppelin
Hall Beer Garden to a paved path, which I followed to Essex Street.
I then continued along Essex Street down to the Colgate Clock
and accessed the waterfront path. Continuing along the waterfront
path, I bypassed the Exchange Place PATH station and continued
onto Hoboken Terminal. I then got the PATH at Hoboken, which took
me directly to 32nd & 6 Avenue, and from there it was a short walk
over to Penn Station. I made it to Penn Station at 9:45 pm. I skipped
Ticktock Diner, I was very tired and needed to get some sleep to
attempt to be prepared for work the next day (Monday).

The best part of the walk were the bridges between Newark
and Jersey City.

The worst part of walk was the lack of coordination of the
walk's schedule with the Sunday train schedule. It is great
that the walk route passes near so many train stations, but
lack of coordination between the walk schedule and the Sunday
train schedules made almost of all the trains stations useless.

The lemonade and cookies in Jersey City really hit the
spot. Many many many thanks to the Embankment Coalition.

The bagels in Cranford were also good, however I think
that delaying until Nomahegan Park would be better.
There aren't rest rooms at the Cranford train station,
and although the Bagel Store was accommodating,
only one person could go at time. I think that it would
be better to continue onto Nomahegan Park where
there are large rest rooms.

Overall it was a great day. Thank you very very
much for coordinating it.

Yon Lee,
Brooklyn, NY

It was a great walk/hike. Thank u Paul Klczek for thinking the idea for the Walk and East Coast Greenway for helping implementing and bringing the word out about the Walk. Also thanks to the other organizations for helping out with the Great Walk as well.

doreen opeikun,
Pittstown, NJ

I had a great time! Very glad I was able to finish but I would have to say the last 4 miles were the hardest. Reaching this personal goal was such an accomplishment. Thanks for the opportunity. Hope to reunite with all of you again.

Gilda (Gilly ) Lameiras,
Blairstown, NJ

This walk changed me for the better. It opened my mind and my heart. It was awesome to be among such caring, motivating, and supportive people. The group's cohesiveness was an energy force that propelled us to the end.

Thank you Paul, for putting this walk together and making it available to all of us. I look forward to meeting at the Tick Tock again next year!

Michael Patterson,
Pompton Lakes, NJ

Perfect weather and great company. It was a long way to go, but I'm glad I did it. Thanks Paul for all the leg work (bad pun intended)

Michael Phillip Pellagatti,
Jersey City, NJ

Wonderful time...a little painful toward the end but wonderful none the less

Pat Moran,
Boxborough, MA

I think of my walking pals Gilly, Mary, Doreen, Paul, Ian, Steve, Walkman Mike, Maurice, Patricia and Jay, Randy, Ronnie, and more all the time. It would be great to see you all again. I have 100+ photos and videos and will send a DVD to anyone who provides a surface-mail address. Let me know at moran_pat@yahoo.com

Patricia Freeman,
New York NY

Patricia was elated. She thought it was well organized and enjoyed the group.

Paul Kiczek,
Morristown, NJ

Great experience. Energy from terrific group of people helped power me along.

Randi Plevy,
Pennington, NJ

It was either terribly wonderful, or wonderfully terrible. Not sure yet.

David M. Ascher,
South Orange, NJ

Terrific. I want to walk the full 50 next year. The Greenway was beautiful.

Steve Nix,
Denville, NJ

Thoroughly enjoyed the segment that I walked. Unfortunately, my hips have not yet healed sufficiently to allow me to complete the entire 50. Hope to see you all next time!

Nancy Jonap,
Jersey City, NJ

I had a great time and would have finished but it was too late in the evening.

If we have an after party...we could distribute dog tags there (save the cost and time of mailing)

Derek Chullanandana,
Belleville, NJ

Instead of walking from Newark-Penn to New York-Penn, I started from Iselin-Metropark and ended up somewhere near Union Station.

Thank you for all your encouragement & conversation: Gil, Mary, Doureen, Yan, Coralyn, Joyce, Matt, Randy, Michael, Pat and Paul! Thank you Gil for remembering me, I thought I heard you mention my name when I was one of the last walkers to make it to Cranford Station.

It was great being greeted when I wasn't expecting it. Thank you Michael for waving to me, indirectly leading me to the path after Cranford Station.

Nomahegan Park in Union County - someone said good luck for the rest of the way, she said she had enough and it was over for her. Thank you, I don't know who you are but it gave me a tiny bit of encouragement to go on despite thinking that I was last and lost.

And for the guy who easily outpaced me, Maurice, I hope you caught up to the group. Had it been another weekend where I had eaten normally, I might have been able to keep pace with you sir.

I also want to thank the two women whose names I did not ask for, the one Asian woman in the Pink sweatshirt & jeans and her friend who wore Yellow.

At the 11.5 mile mark (Cranford Station) - I had told Gil that I was done and yet I had continued walking.

I thought I was lost, walking alone due to my slower pace and lack of proper diet. I only had 230 calories or so of clear liquids prior to the event so, most of the walking was accomplished by sheer willpower and partial stupidity.

No carbs, no protein, only Nuun enriched water, and empty calories. Nobody knew that I was walking, nobody knew I was lost and I was a bit too proud to call for help on my cell phone. I did add another 220 cal from Krauser's in clear liquids near the Cranford Train station.

To the women who wore Yellow and Pink: you don't know it, but everytime I saw you folks, you gave me hope. I overheard you say to someone earlier in the course that you were walking the entire 50 miles. I hope you got there safely and without too much misdirection.

The Greenway Physical markers were confusing for the few stragglers that didn't walk as fast as the lead groups. A bunch of us got lost more than once in Nomahegan Park, Black Brook Park area and in the area near Union Train Station.

I started the event strong walking with the lead group until Rahway Train Station. After we hit one of the parks leading up the Cranford Station my pace slowed and I fell behind.

I wish I could have finished all 50 miles ending at New York - Penn station but my reward was walking 23-ish miles, getting lost, finding hope and encouragement from the kindness of strangers, and testing the limits of my abilities despite my inadequate nutrition on that particular day. Thank you Paul!

Thank you to everyone whom I met during this event. If I did not mention you by name, please forgive me.

Joseph W. McDonnell,
Moorestown, NJ

Paul, thanks for organizing the Walk. I enjoyed everything about it and look forward to taking part in a future event.

Jeffrey Bernstein,
Devon, PA

Great experience, cannot wait for the next one.
There should be a 50 mile walk held in each state.

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This year to accommodate more challengers we expanded the support providing improved signage and a support stop near the GWB. Our thanks to the Hudson River Walkway Conservancy, East Coast Greenway, Shorewalkers and Metrotrails for helping make this a huge success for FreeWalkers and our United Walking effort.

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See the video!

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