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Walking Greenwich Point: Year One and Mile 1,000 and Still Going Strong

A group of men (and a few dogs) celebrated the first anniversary of walking and talking their way around Greenwich Point.

T.S. Eliott  wrote in the Waste Land (1922):

"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."

April certainly is the cruelest month for exercise programs diligently begun as New Year's Resolutions that fade and fail as the weather gets better and distractions proliferate.

A group of Greenwich men disproved that pessimism as they completed their first year of circumnavigating the 2.7 mile circumference of Greenwich Point each morning.

On March 29, 2011, John Harkins of Old Greenwich and Peter Berg of Cos Cob started daily walks at the Point. Mr. Harkins had just celebrated a milestone birthday and Mr. Berg was feeling a bit heavy and out-of-shape. Doctors were consulted, goals were set, spousal encouragement was received and so they embarked on a journey to fitness and camaraderie. Mr. Harkins also resolved to walk 1,000 miles before his next birthday.

They invited others to join them and those others invited others and soon there was a good sized group of senior men gathering every morning at about 7:30 am in the near parking lot to walk and discuss topics of the day. Many regulars are past or current members of the BET and RTM so politics and town gossip are frequent topics. When the Point was open to pets, dogs joined the group, including Nino, the boxer, Eva, the German shepherd, Emmet, the cute dog of unknown breed who looks like "Benji", and my black labrador Sirius Black. The group walks rain or shine when the Point is open. Last fall when the hurricane wiped out the pathway and the foot bridges were closed, the group carried on and over.  

The group learned that there are others who are regulars at the Point, walking, cycling and swimming there regularly each morning at the same time. The regulars greet each other as lost friends each morning and become concerned if a familiar face is not seen for some extended period. The group's adventures are well-chronicled. Mr. Harkins writes an email newsletter about each day's walk with photographs of the ever-changing scenery and wildlife. 

On March 28, 2012, Mr. Harkins celebrated another birthday and the completion of his 1,000th mile with bagels and coffee on the rock at the eastern point where the group votes on whether that particular day is within the top ten (it usually is).

On March 29, 2012, many members (but no dogs) gathered to celebrate the anniversary accomplishment at Tandoori in Port Chester over the fine lunch buffet (all you can eat for $10) washed down with delicious Indian beer. 

One problem: the group still doesn't have a name. Among the suggestions are: Tod Walkers, the Sound Striders, the Point's Men, Tod's Drifters, but nothing has stuck yet. Yet another topic to discuss while walking around the Point in year two, I suppose.

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Michael Dinan (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Congratulations to Mr. Harkins and the group. A lot more fun than a treadmill at a gym, I am sure. Yesterday was the final day for dogs at the Point until November, so another season passes. Ed, don't let "The Tod Walkers" happen -- I believe a Todd Walker clubbed an important home run for the Red Sox off of Pettitte back in '03 during the ALCS.
Peter F. Alexander April 01, 2012 at 10:18 PM
This is the most positive story I have read about our Town in many years. Our Post World War II dream of our Park System is still alive. I hope some of those brave souls who are still with us feel the same. I know in my heart many whom we have lost are...
Ed Krumeich April 01, 2012 at 11:41 PM
It was a sad April Fool's trick on Sirius Black this morning when I explained to him that I could not bring him again to Greenwich Point until December 1. Ah well, there's always Babcock!
Vince DiMarco April 02, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I, too, congratulate John and Peter, and all who have joined this group, and I second Mr. Alexander's sentiment regarding parks in general and the value they add to the community for passive and active recreation. The timing of Mr. Krumiech's "voicing" is great for its striking contrast to the recent letters of opinion regarding the proposal to create a Multi-use Trail in the Merritt Parkway right-of-way from Greenwich to Stratford. The Trail would provide year-round accessibility for walkers, joggers, roller-bladers and cyclists, as well as those in wheel chairs, for all ages and abilities, mostly in a natural setting. Fairfield County is far behind its NY counterpart and other CT counties in creating such trails, and the vocal majority in Greenwich seems either oblivious or totally opposed as long as they can always jump in the car and find a parking space at the gym. Thx, Ed, for proving there are many who obviously feel otherwise. (BTW, is there a women's group, too?)
Barbara Heins (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Ed - I think you all should call yourselves 'The Walkmen.'
Ed Krumeich April 02, 2012 at 03:26 PM
SONY has "Walkman" all sewn up. There are at least two groups of women the group encounters every morning. One group jogs up from downtown Old Greenwich. I have a sense that women are way ahead of men in realizing that walking may be a social as well as a fitness activity. The difference in this group is that the men appreciate the conversation as well as the exercise.
Michael Dinan (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM
What about "The Todlers"?
Barbara Heins (Editor) April 02, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Love 'The Todlers.' Or perhaps, a riff on a music group ... 'The Pointer Brothers."
Ed Krumeich April 03, 2012 at 08:48 PM
OK time to rev it up: Tod's Trackers, the T-Men, the GP Walkers, the Walking Ped, the Dawn Treaders, the Mad Men (that's who we need to develop the brand).

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