WREC continues Walktober program

Kendall Ross, the program coordinator of Recreational Sports. Photo courtesy Chico State

Cat Tracks, a free walking program funded by Chico State’s Recreational Sports, is getting ready for another Walktober starting Oct. 1.

Cat Tracks started in 2007 with an event called “Ski to Sea.” Faculty and students tracked their steps for a year to see if they could reach the same number of steps it would take to walk from Lake Tahoe (ski) to San Francisco (sea). Difficulties arose with tracking the yearlong event, as well as with the idea that Lake Tahoe and San Francisco had nothing to do with Chico State itself. In 2011 they started a new, more interactive program.

Cat Tracks began a monthlong event called Walktober. Participants are able to get more involved within a smaller time frame. Competitors log their steps weekly so they can see their progress and take advantage of the incentives, which include gift cards for local shops and markets and Cat Track T-shirts. The prizes are given to those who log the most often, not those who have the most steps, in case anyone is tempted to cheat.

Some members of Chico State are looking forward to taking part in the event again, like Victoria White, the office coordinator for the Chico State Career Planning and Placement Office.

“I loved doing Cat Tracks,” White said. “For me it really made me recognize how many steps I was, or really wasn’t, taking.”

The Career Center ended up winning the title last year as the department with the most steps, reaching 1,094,759 steps between five people.

“I think that as an office we went out of our way,” White said. “Instead of using the interoffice mail, I would walk and deliver it. We all walked on our breaks, lunch, track at the gym, we were dedicated. We will participate again this year and we will fight hard to keep our title.”

Most people don’t know the importance of walking, especially since the average person should be taking 10,000 steps a day or about five miles, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. With some faculty members and students having a more sedentary lifestyle, Cat Tracks was created specifically for them.

Kendall Ross, the program coordinator of Recreational Sports, has been looking forward to the upcoming Walktober event.

She hopes to get 500 people to sign up after ordering that many pedometers, Ross said. Her goal is to focus all energy and efforts into promoting fitness through walking during the month of October.

Samuel Wolfson can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports.