Dale Attrell, the organizer of a Langley walking club, said participants have managed to make it out despite poor weather. However, slippery conditions following the latest bug snowfall led them to delay returning from a Christmas break. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Dale Attrell, the organizer of a Langley walking club, said participants have managed to make it out despite poor weather. However, slippery conditions following the latest bug snowfall led them to delay returning from a Christmas break. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley seniors walking club keeps going despite poor weather

‘We’ve been lucky’ organizer says

A Langley seniors walking club has managed to keep going despite poor weather, even getting out during the atmospheric river in November and the record low temperatures and heavy snow that followed.

It was only the recent arrival of freezing rain, following the club’s regular Christmas break, that some walks had to be postponed, said organizer Dale Attrell, 93, who lives in Walnut Grove.

“It’s not safe to take people out when it’s slippery like this,” Attrell told the Langley Advance Times on Tuesday, Jan. 11, as another heavy rain was in the forecast.

“We don’t want people to get hurt.”

READ ALSO: Outrunning COVID: a Langley City senior starts a walking club

Attrell was cautiously optimistic the Friday, Jan. 14, walk would happen, with the heavy rain expected to taper off before then.

“It looks like it’s going to be good,” he estimated.

“I usually wait until the morning of the walk, and I look outside. If it isn’t pouring, I text everyone. Most of them show up.”

Most club members managed to keep walking right up until Christmas despite the severe weather conditions, in part thanks to the timing of the walks.

“We missed most of it,” Attrell remarked.

“We were lucky. We would go walking in the morning and it would be pouring down rain in the afternoon.”

Dale Attrell shows off a photo of a summer walk in Langley. On the morning of a walk, he checks the conditions, then sends a text to all participants. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Dale Attrell shows off a photo of a summer walk in Langley. On the morning of a walk, he checks the conditions, then sends a text to all participants. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Attrell explained the appeal of the club is two-fold.

“One reason is because it’s exercise,” he explained.

“Another reason is you get out with other people. That is probably the most important part.”

When Attrell, a retired transit operator and great-grandfather, started a walking club for seniors in November of 2020, it filled up quickly.

The club started as a once-a-week Wednesday outing, then expanded to a second group.

“A lot of people can’t walk on Wednesdays, and I don’t do anything on Fridays.”

The Friday walk has been especially popular with senior women, who have told Attrell they like walking, “but not alone.”

Participants walk routes that are flat, not too challenging, and no more than two kilometres.

It all started because one of Attrell’s regular routes as a solo walker ended at the Langley Seniors Resources Society Centre. He happened to run into Lorretta Solomon, chair of the centre board of directors, who suggested Attrell could start a walking club.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Attrell will be among 16 seniors, most of them from the walking club, who will be taking part in the Historic Half Marathon in Fort Langley currently scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20.

Among them will be competitive marathon runner, Vern Sorensen, 87, who is a Langley walking cub member.

Anyone interested in taking part in the club walks can contact Attrell through the Langley Senior Resources Society at 604-530-3020.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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