Monday, June 6, 2011

re: Walking the Commute

Normally when you ask me what I did over the weekend, I have multiple things to list off. Last weekend there was really just one thing to list: walking.

That's because last weekend was the first of what will be an annual event, "walking The Commute." The Commute is a 24 hour, 50 mile walk from downtown San Jose to downtown San Francisco. Participants spend one full day walking through and experiencing the communities that they drive past in the rush of their daily commute...which is just so crazy that you know it had to be all Derek's idea.

The whole event was pretty well summarized in the tee-shirt design:

The first question I get when people ask about The Commute is usually "why?" since there isn't the charity aspect to the event that most people associate with organized walks.

Well. Derek gets to (i.e. has to) commute down to Cupertino every day from San Francisco along with what feels like a majority of the Bay Area. At one point he was thinking about that distance that so many people travel daily, and how in the days before cars, living in SF and working in SJ wouldn't have even been an option. He decided that he wanted to walk that distance to get a better sense of the space and surroundings, and after one failed attempt, managed to complete the entire 50 mile stretch in one (very long) day, all by himself. It was such an interesting (and dare I say rewarding?) experience that he decided to organize a formal event and make it possible for anyone else that wanted the challenge of attempting the SJ-SF walk to do so. It is about a different way of exploring familiar space, and pushing your body.

He teamed up with two of his friends, Nick and Kristian, and the three of them organized the event.

The first annual "Walk the Commute" event took place over the weekend, and nineteen hopefuls (including yours truly) donned our comfiest shoes and started out from San Jose on Saturday morning. It was pouring rain. Not the best way to start a 50 mile walk, but surprisingly nobody was deterred.

It was legit. There were fancy signs marking the route:

There were planned pit-stops every few miles with treats (including fresh coconut juice at one!)

The weather turned nice in the afternoon, and we all had a really good time walking together along El Camino. It was so nice that even a baby came and walked part of the route with us.

By 9pm that night I had only made it to San Carlos (around 26 miles in), and my legs weren't cooperating with me when I was telling them to keep moving. I ended up taking the Caltrain of Shame home at that point, but there were nine brave souls that kept pushing and made it all the way to San Francisco by about 6am on Sunday morning, Derek among them.

We drew some festive chalk signage at the end of the walk in Justin Herman Plaza. Everyone crossed the finish line, was a good sport about taking some photos for us ...

and then immediately did this:

The whole experience was pretty awesome. Since I only made it half way this year, looks like I'm going to have to go all the way next year. So, start training now, and come Walk The Commute with me next year!

(if the photo looks fancy, it was probably shot by Zoe Lonergan for The Commute)


English said...

How come I wasn't informed about this?!
I would have driven up.

bex said...

Oh, dang. Don't tell Derek I failed to properly advertise this thing. Please come next year.

Bek said...

you guys should walk down to orange county. think about it.

Alice said...

hopefully we can join you next year:)