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Easter Seals NH Walk With Me event in downtown Manchester. Courtesy photo.




Eversource Walk With Me & 5K Run

When: Thursday, June 2, registration/pre-race activities from 4:30 to 6 p.m., walk/run at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, Elm Street, Manchester
Cost: $10 for walkers, $25 for runners
Visit: easterseals.com/nh




A new kind of walk
Easter Seals NH expands Walk With Me event

05/26/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



The Easter Seals New Hampshire annual walk returns this year with a new name, new route, new 5K run and more activities. The event, now called the Eversource Walk With Me & 5K Run for Easter Seals, takes place Thursday, June 2, in downtown Manchester and will help provide services for children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
Registration and pre-race activities will be held at Veterans Memorial Park on Elm Street from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The walk/run begins at 6:15 p.m. and concludes back at the park with closing ceremonies at 7:30 p.m.  
Walk With Me, now in its 17th year, is Easter Seals’ signature fundraising event, with over 60 walks taking place nationwide each year. The New Hampshire chapter’s walk, however, is the oldest, starting several years before it became a national event.
“They found that they needed to come up with a signature event that was family-friendly and universally easy to attend and something that clients’ families could participate in,” said Christine Pederson, director of events and corporate relations for Easter Seals New Hampshire. “So that’s why they chose a walk.”
The Manchester event has some big changes this year, including its new name and first title sponsor, Eversource, and the addition of a 5K race.  
“It’s proving to be very popular already,” Pederson said. “We typically see 800 people or so. Our goal in adding the run was to double it and see 1,500 to 2,000, and [based on the number of registrants so far] it’s looking like that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
With double the number of people attending, Pederson said they’ll also be having “double the attractions, fun and entertainment” this year.
Prior to the start of the walk/run, Veterans Park will be bustling with food vendors, raffles and giveaways, mingling mascots and music. There’s also Wellness Alley, a fair with exhibitors from the health and fitness fields, including local gyms, yoga studios, fitness trainers, health food businesses, health insurance companies, doctors, nurses and other health specialists. Pederson said it usually has around 15 booths, but this year’s Wellness Alley will be the largest yet with close to 50 booths.
Also new this year is the course. In the past, it has utilized mostly Elm and Commercial streets, but now it will cover Elm and a large section of Canal Street.
The walk/run will begin at the intersection of Pleasant and Elm streets. Runners will go first, and the walkers will follow along the same route. At the closing ceremony, the top 50 finishers from all of the gender and age categories will be awarded special swag bags.
Pederson said the best thing about joining the Walk With Me event is being able to connect with the people you’re supporting.
“You’re walking or running for a lot of our clients who aren’t able to do so, or needed many surgeries to do so,” she said. “But a lot of clients participate too, so you can see the people you’re directly helping with your participation. It’s a feel-good experience.”





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