SEARHC, Stride 365 co-host Run for Hames Center’s Wellness Fund on Saturday, Jan. 5

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Run Sitka’s Stride 365 program will co-host the Run for Hames Center’s Wellness Fund on Saturday, Jan. 5.

Runners should meet at 9 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. race start at the O’Connell Bridge Lightering Facility. The cost of the five-kilometer race and two-mile walk is a donation of $10. Proceeds benefit the Hames Center‘s Wellness Fund, which helps create programs for those managing chronic health problems, those with limited means, and those with other needs.

Each month SEARHC and Run Sitka (#runsitka) host a Stride 365 event on the first Saturday of every month, with proceeds going to a different charity in Sitka. For more information, please contact Lesa Way by email at lesaw@searhc.org, or by phone at 966-8804 or 738-3924.

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New healthy walking trail available on SEARHC campus

There’s a new walking trail on the Sitka campus of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).

“The SEARHC walking trail was created as a way to increase opportunities for physical activity for SEARHC employees, patients, and visitors,” SEARHC Health Educator III Holly Marban said.

The 0.4-mile-long trail is built on top of a gravel bed, so there is surer footing for walkers when the nearby sidewalks are icy. The trail’s construction was assisted by Troy’s Excavation.

Walkers can access the trail from near the parking lot for the SEARHC Community Health Services building on the lower part of the campus. You’ll find the entrance to the trail next to the 20mph sign on the road connecting the lower part of the campus to Mount Edgecumbe Hospital.

From there the trail takes walkers through the woods (note, part of the trail is next to the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka housing complex, which is off limits to non-Coast Guard personnel). After wandering through the woods, the trail ends on the side of the SEARHC Patient Housing complex (the far side away from Mount Edgecumbe Hospital). The red line on the satellite map gives you a rough idea of where the trail goes.

At this point, the trail does not have an official name, Marban said.

Join Walk Sitka’s 2019 team in the APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge

Are you a regular walker, one who uses a pedometer or fitness app to track your daily step count? Then join the Walk Sitka team in the American Public Health Association‘s 1 Billion Steps Challenge, a national event that runs from Jan. 1 through April 7, 2019. The contest ends after National Public Health Week (April 1-7).

This event is free, and the competition helps motivate people to get out and do more walking. Many people set a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day, and that adds up over the contest that lasts just a bit longer than three months.

In 2017, Walk Sitka only had one person walking (Charles Bingham), but he recorded more than half-a-million steps while averaging about 8,500 a day (finishing in the top 60 teams). Last year, we had two people walking (Karen Hegyi and Charles Bingham), and Walk Sitka recorded more than 2.8 million steps (an average of 14,655 steps a day) to finish fourth overall. There was one other identifiable Alaska team in last year’s Billion Steps Challenge — Anchorage Public Health DHHS — which recorded more than 14.5 million steps but only had an average of 3,529 steps per day to finish 176th overall. There were 400 teams in the 2018 event, who totaled more than 2.2 billion steps.

To sign up, click this link and register using the code APHA2019. Once you’re registered, you should be directed to this link. Click on the View All Teams link, then scroll toward the bottom to find the Walk Sitka logo. Then click the Join Team button and you’re in.

The challenge uses a website called MoveSpring, which links to a variety of fitness apps for automatic registration of steps. But if you’re old school and use a pedometer clipped to your belt, there is a link so you can manually enter your steps.

Sitka to host First Day Hike on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail trailhead parking lot

Sitka will hold a First Day Hike, meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail trailhead parking lot, in Old Sitka State Historical Park.

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks, in partnership with Alaska State Parks, to encourage people to get outdoors. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park.

Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking more than 133,000 miles throughout the country. First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable volunteers.

“What a great way to start the year,” event organizer Jeff Budd said.

We will hike the 1 1/2-mile Mosquito Cove loop, and if hikers are interested, hike the 1 1/2-mile Muskeg loop as well. If it is very windy or very, very rainy the hike will be canceled. Walking/hiking poles and YakTrax or similar ice cleats are recommended if the trails are icy.

For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 20

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the Indian River Trail trailhead.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Joel Hanson at 747-6859 or email him at jhanson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 13

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the Cross Trail trailhead.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Joel Hanson at 747-6859 or email him at jhanson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for December 2018

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 6

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the Heart Lake Trail trailhead.

Normally, the group picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Joel Hanson at 747-6859 or email him at jhanson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for December 2018