At the Park with Darryl Clark

It’s not easy to describe Darryl Clark’s Saturday morning classes at Cedarbrook Park.

He calls it a Walk/Run Group which is about as good as any name I can muster, and a reference to the Queen City 5k Walk/Run that he founded. Even so, I’ve seen residents get intimidated by those words – particularly the “run” part. In actuality the centerpiece of Clark’s class isn’t quite walking or running – it’s power walking. Power walking group?

Not quite. Before attending Darryl’s class for the first time last year, I had no idea what power walking was. My best guess was the type of walking you do when you’re in a rush – the walking that makes your shins hurt before you miss the train. Like run, power is an intimidating word. Does someone who doesn’t walk as much as they could really want to go right into go power walking? Maybe not.

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The truth is, power walking is a more efficient form of traditional walking, meaning that you go faster using the same amount of energy. In Darryl’s class, everyone moves at their own, casual pace. No one travels as quickly as the Olympic level power walkers shown below.

This form of walking feels great and has health benefits that Darryl can explain better than I ever could.

It’s not all about the power walking either. Before you take a few laps around the pond, Clark helps you gauge your heart rate. He takes the time to teach you about your many muscles and calmly helps you relieve tension as you stretch. By the end of the session, attendees report feeling relaxed, loose, and having less stress.

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Try it yourself. Darryl Clark’s Cedarbrook Park Walk/Run Group meets Saturday’s at 8:30am. While Darryl is there the vast majority of Saturday mornings before it gets too cold, there are occasional cancelations, which he sends via his email list. In order to be added, contact Darryl Clark directly at darryl_cla18@msn.com.

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