FreeWalkers that demonstrate our true spirit of adventure and community and set the standard for the rest of us. The Awards were presented at the June 23rd Celebration Event. Each walker shared with us some thoughts on how they got involved and what it means to be a FreeWalker.
Al Walker - Best FreeWalker 2013 (shared with Ian Hochstead)
Some people are born to walk and others find inspiration in the wierdest ways. I guess you can say Al has experienced both. He credits his family and name for getting him started and an odd Google search for finding out about FreeWalkers. Al's a determined lead walker for most of our events and someone who has determine that walking will always be part of his life. Like family, he credits walking with others in being able to reach tough goals. But, Al says, in the end, the best way to to achieve any goal is first to "...get out and get moving." Click here for the Interview.
Ian Hochstead - Best FreeWalker 2013 (shared with Al Walker)
What happens when you shoot for an impossible goal and don't make it? Well, for Ian, you try again. And, again until you do. Ian set his sights on walking our maximum distance events and fell short a few times. It happens to the best of us (Your's truly too!). But, Ian persisted and walked 50 miles this past May with the help of some friends. Ian represents the "urban walker" who finds enjoyment in walking anywhere - across town, over an industrial bridge or deep in the woods. And, there's many other urban walkers behind him. Click here for the Interview.
Risa Olinsky - Best FreeWalker Spirit 2013
It's probably fair to say that if you have walked at least one or two of our events you've met this spark-plug of the FreeWalkers. It's not just that she exudes energy and optimism, she practices what she preaches. As a certified wellness coach, Risa has created a successful business around helping others develop healthful lifesyles. And, walking is something she believes in and does a lot of. Every day. She's started a community walking group for Maplewood and South Orange called SOMA on Foot. Through her many activities, she encourages others to try the FreeWalker way - aspiring individually to achieve difficult goals while benefiting from the support of others. Click here for the Interview.
Read about the 2015 FreeWalker Award Winners
(Nancy Jonap, Ken Kurland, Bob Quinlan and Ilene Silver)
Read about the 2014 FreeWalker Award Winners
(David Ascher, Renata Luisi, and Hua Davis)
Read about the 2013 FreeWalker Award Winners
(Al Walker, Ian Hochstead, and Risa Olinsky)
Read about the 2012 FreeWalker Award Winners
(Ron Palochko, Jazlyn Sears Raggio, and Denise and Joe Bellantoni)
2011 FreeWalker Award Winners
Claudia Acosta - Best FreeWalker
Mike & Anne Kruimer - Best Support Team
Mackenzie Roe - Best Young Walker