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Frequently asked questions

Q

What is the beTween Walk?

The beTween Walk - NB2MP10 is actually a 12.3-mile walk (originally estimated route was for about 10-miles) between New Brunswick and Metropark in Iselin along the East Coast Greenway(ECG). (Hence, the name "beTween Walk"). The beTween Walk is a major event created by the FreeWalkers, the long distance walking social network, to encourage the public to explore the ECG, an ambitious 3,000 mile multi-purpose and multi-environment trail along the east coast of the United States. The ECG runs through New Jersey parallel to its main transportation routes connecting Pennsylvania and New York. The route between New Brunswick and Metropark is about half-way along its length in Middlesex county and begins and ends at two major rail stations.

This walk is more a suburban trek through some older established communities, along streets and sidewalks to a pleasant county park. The NB2MP10 for 2015 is a repeat of last years' event, the results and photos can be seen here at this website. It is a planned for a mid-April each year and is major segment of the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge, the FreeWalkers' challenge to walk 100-miles in one year. The event and chellenge is free and open to the public. Visit http://crossjerseywalk.org for more details.

Q

What is the Cross Jersey Walking Challenge and how is the beTween Walk part of it?

The Cross Jersey Walking Challenge is program that encourages individuals to walk the entire100-mile route along the East Coast Greenway in NJ. The Cross-Jersey Challenge  encourages walking across the entire state from Trenton to New York City in one year. The FreeWalkers have set the challenge and mapped out three separate one-day walks each year that will accomplish that goal. The 38-mile  "TR2NB40 - Great Canal Walk" is the first three events. The NB2MP10 - The beTween Walk is the next segment (12.3 miles) from New Brunswick to Metropark, and the 50-mile "NJ2NY50 - The Big Walk" in mid- May. There is no cost or fees for participating and the public is invited to in all three events and the challenge itself. Visit crossjerseywalk.org for details and to register for the challenge.

Q

Can anyone walk the beTween Walk 12 miles?

Yes, the walk is open to any individual. Keep in mind that this is not a race and the main group of walkers expect to finish in 4-4.5 hours. This assumes being able to walk at a fairly brisk pace, with some rest and curiosity stops along the way. That represents an average of about 3 mph. A fairly fast pace for an individual comfortable with walking is 4 mph, but very few people can maintain that pace for long. Advance groups may not wait for walkers that cannot stay with the pace. Chances are you will meet walkers with a variety of experience and skill to meet your objectives.
 
To accommodate various skills and fitness levels, participating walkers can meet up with the walk at various designated points along the route. There are alternative suggested spots where you might consider joining in or tailing off. We will be posting a schedule of times where we anticipate the group will be passing various locations so you can plan ahead. You might want to consider setting a shorter walk objective of, say, 1 mile, 3 miles, or 5 miles. It will be the responsibility of the walker to find transportation back to their home or starting point. The route is designed to promote the use of public transportation, such as NJ Transit trains, to assist you in getting to the event and back home.

Q

Why are you doing this event?

The event provides a way for the general public to participate together in a large-scale form of exercise while visiting a variety of communities and unique areas from a closer vantage point. In utilizing an available recreational resource, we hope to demonstrate the benefit of these types of resources to the public which we hope in turn will help guide future urban/suburban planning projects. We also hope to benefit The East Coast Greenway Alliance by promoting awareness, membership and donations to support its cause of creating and maintaining a 3,000 mile greenway along the entire U.S. East coast - from Maine to Key West.
 
Distance walking and "pedestrianism" is as old as mankind. It is as a result of our dependence on automobiles and other forms of transportation that our society has changed the look of its communities. In more recent times, commercial business and roads have marginalized our communities and caused us to limit the use of self-propelled travel. There are health and societal implications to our past policies. Our walking events follow a national movement to consider pedestrian traffic (walking and cycling) in all community and transportation projects.

Q

Does it cost anything to participate in the walk?

No. This walking event is open to the general public and is organized by the FreeWalkers, a free, social network of individuals interested in long distance walking and related walking events. We are supported by the ECGA and other organizations with volunteers for the sole purpose of providing a rewarding physical experience to the participants and to build awareness of pro-pedestrian issues. Walkers should be prepared by bringing their own food and supplies or be prepared to pay for them along the way. We will benefit from the support staff of the East Coast Greenway, which will assist with rides if necessary and some basic supplies.

We ask that you register for the event at our Eventbrite registration page. You do not have to be a member of FreeWalkers.org although we encourage you to join. membership is FREE and most of our events are free. Once registered for the event you can be sure to get the latest event information and will be able to set their own walking goals. After the walk, we survey participants and post results for registered walkers and and tally with others for the total miles walked that day. Donations may be solicited for non-profit organizations that either support our events or represent a local charity.

We thank our generous sponsors for the event for their support - East Coast Greway Alliance and Eastern Mountain Sports

Q

Isn’t walking in urban and marginalized industrial areas dangerous? How can I be sure that I’ll be safe if I walk?

The route that is planned for the walk is the current route of the East Coast Greenway Alliance which incorporates this area just above the Raritan River. The ECGA is a well-established organization with the ambitious objective of creating a 3,000-mile multi-use trail from Maine to Florida. We will be walking almost entirely on the East Coast Greenway’s route, except for the starting point at the train station in New Brunswick. Portions of the walk are comprised of city sidewalks, commercial roads as well as walkable paths, in parks. The route along the ECG meanders through suburban nature paths, to the middle of cities, while often traversing industrial areas on the city outskirts.
 
The area of our route should be safe provided walkers stay on the designated route obeying traffic laws. Some of the route will be clearly marked and most of the trail follows Woodbridge Ave. This year our route will be changed slightly for the better. A more natural trail section has been completed eliminating some of the walk along Woodbridge Ave. But, walkers should rely on the maps that will be provided for guidance. Since even parts of the marked route will have areas not frequented by pedestrians, all walkers are advised to use caution. Walkers who take part in this event should not walk alone and walk with the lead walkers, at our specifically designated locations. A schedule of time and places will be posted. Walkers should always be consciously aware of their surroundings and be visible to traffic.

Q

How long does the walk take? Where do I start and finish?

The route will start from the New Brunswick train station (French and Albany Streets) and so will be conveniently located near NJ Transit transportation and finish at Metropark Station in Iselin. Both stations are main stops along the NJTransit Northeast corridor and Amtrak main train lines. There is easy parking and bus service available. And, trips between the stops are inexpensive. Because this is the main line walkers can join us even from New York City or Philadelphia. You can expect to begin at 8:30 a.m. leaving New Brunswick Station. We expect the lead group to finish in about 4-4.5 hours (assuming 1 or 2 breaks along the way). If you would like to walk a shorter distance we will have various other points marked for our schedule where you may either join in or tail off. Even if you walk at a slower pace, there will be plenty of time to finish in the afternoon. While we ask everyone to check-in with the group when starting, there is no need to check-out when finishing. You can provide us feedback on your walk later online.

Q

What if I can’t make it all the way?

Walkers should plan in advance. They should know train stations that are located along their route or alternate transportation such as busses. The area we walk is a normal suburban area with areas to park and so you can figure a shorter plan to join in or leave the walk, assuming you have arranged for a car or someone to meet you. We'll poll participants prior to the walk for logistics in sharing rides. There will be some East Coast Greenway support for walkers who cannot finish their selected distance as long as they maintain phone contact. If you fall far behind the pace, you may also request a "jump" ride to catch up to an advanced group. Remember, that walking even 12 miles can be a difficult physical task for some and under adverse weather condtions requiring stamina. If in doubt, you should consider a shorter distance goal and always have a contingency plan.

Q

What happens if it rains or we experience other bad weather conditions?

Currently, we are not considering a rain date but that could change. The event may be cancelled if the weather is bad. At this time of the year, heavy rains may cause a cancellation. Check back at the event website betweenwalk.org or FreeWalkers.org for final details near the day of the event. We'll also keep in touch right to the last minute via email.

Q

I’m not used to walking that long a distance. How can I train for the event?

While most individuals who are fairly physically fit should have no problem walking 10-12 miles, there are some points to note on long distance walking. The main difference in this type of distance walk is the hard surface, length of time and the number of repetitious steps. While walking is a much less intense form of exercise, you should consider that you'll be walking at least 4 hours, mostly on hard sidewalk concrete and road asphalt. The most common reason to not complete the distance is exhaustion and/or blisters and foot problems. These can be avoided by proper hydration, nutrition and carefully considering the right shoes. Even so, walking this distance can be a difficult task, although this 12.3-mile event is the shortest and easiest of the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge events. The best form of training is to practice walking by starting a planned program of walking near your home and slowly building, week by week, to at least an 8 mile loop. There is specific information on training for the event available on the TR2NB40.org website under "Tips". why not start walking now?

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