Walkin' to New Orleans

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - "Who dat" walking from one corner of Louisiana to the other?  Ranging in age from 16 to 86, a group of Westlake residents has tracked enough miles to literally walk from their hometown to the Big Easy.

At 86 years old, Ailean Colosky is showing no signs of slowing down.  "I really am feeling really good," said Colosky.

Along with 37 other walking friends, Colosky has been tracking her miles since last September up to the Lundi Gras cut off of Monday, February 15th, walking to New Orleans - a 209 mile path from one corner of the state to the other.

Westlake Recreation District One Manager Chad Evans created the program three years ago and said, "It's very hard, but a lot of people do it and it takes some dedication."

Even though Larry Kacer has a tough schedule working graveyards, he's managed to squeeze in the 200-plus miles and says he's feeling much younger than his true age.  "I'm 53, but it makes me feel like I can back up my age to 25 or 26 years old," he said.

There are four mini-goals along the way, leading up to New Orleans:
*Iowa: 17.9 miles
*Jennings: 39 miles
*Lafayette: 77.7 miles
*Baton Rouge: 131.2 miles
*New Orleans: 209 miles

Colosky knew the trip to the Big Easy wouldn't be so "easy," but she says she has already exceeded her goal.  "When my friends talked me into signing up for it," she said, "I thought - well I could make it to Iowa.  I got there, so I thought I could make it to Lafayette.  Now I've already been to New Orleans and I'm on my way back to Westlake."

Personal trainer Lin Mossow says walking is a simple exercise that can yield great health results.  "We have people that lost 50 pounds, they've lowered their blood pressure, diabetes chances go down," said Mossow.

With this final push for these walkers to make it to New Orleans, the excitement over the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl game is bringing them there a bit faster as they sport their black and gold.  "We've been waiting on this for a long, long time for this to happen," said Colosky.

"Since the Saints made it to the Super Bowl," added Kacer, "it's made it a little bit sweeter."

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