Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Great LA Walk 2014

"Wait, you're doing what?"

"Is walking 17 miles even humanly possible?"

"Can I bike it? Bring a dog? Quit half way through? Are you personally driving me back to my car?"

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014! (This will be updated with new information as it comes available!)

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at WARNER CENTER PARK in Woodland Hills (5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd). By 8:45 we'll gather for a pep talk, some info about the day and perhaps a surprise speaker. (Suprise speaker TBD.) Then, we're off, straight at 9 am!

2. WHO? We're expecting 300 or so urban hikers this year. We're taking RSVPs at greatlawalk(at)mail(dot)com (yes, "mail," not "gmail") and on Facebook, but RSVPs are not necessary. We'll take anyone who shows up too!

3. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? C'mon, it's completely free! But you're on your own when it comes to lunch, dinner, water, etc. So don't forget to plan accordingly.

4. WHAT'S THE PATH? From Warner Center Park, we'll walk to Ventura Blvd., then hike it all the way to Lankershim (near Universal City). Then, we'll walk up Lankershim to North Hollywood and end at the Television Academy courtyard (5200 Lankershim Blvd). We'll then celebrate an an after party (Location TBD).

5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR WEST? Just wait for us somewhere on the path and join in once we pass by. Several hikers will be Twittering as well -- including us, at @greatlawalk. Check one of those Twitter accounts to figure out where we are.

6. HOW LONG IS THE HIKE? Around 17 miles. IMPORTANT: This is not a race. Sure, you can sprint all the way to the end, but where's the fun in that? There's no prize for who gets there first. Instead, take a breath, and join the bulk of us as we leisurely stroll toward the end and stop frequently to take in the sights.

7. WHEN WILL WE GET TO THE END? With so many hikers, people will eventually start to space out. Impatient, faster walkers might get there soon after lunch. But the bulk of the walkers will get there around 4.

8. CAN WE BIKE IT? BRING KIDS? PETS? Because you're walking on your own accord -- remember, this is an unofficial gathering of passionate Angelenos walking the streets of their favorite city -- you can do whatever you want. Use your best judgement, of course. We're not responsible for you.

9. WHAT ABOUT INJURIES? Again, there is no infrastructure to our Walk, so you need to take care of yourself just like you would whenever you walk anywhere. Be careful, stay safe and stick with a group of walkers!

10. WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? We'll be taking a lunch break -- probably around an hour or so -- around the halfway point. We're still working on finding businesses along Ventura to perhaps offer GREAT LA WALK specials.

11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the end... and then celebrate at an after party between 4 and 7 pm.

12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? This is the most transit-friendly GREAT LA WALK ever. The start and finish are both near the Metro Orange Line. You can park at one end and take the Orange Line back to your car (or else arrange transportation -- or perhaps, if you're hiking with others, station cars at both ends).

13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature). Also, tennis shoes... sunglasses... a hat... sunscreen... extra socks... a blister kit (optional, of course -- I haven't brought one, although Band-Aids  are a good idea)... and most importantly, a camera! We'll all be documenting it and posting pics later.

14. HOW CAN I GET A T-SHIRT? T-shirts are now for sale at (we don't make any money off of these). But order fast, in order get the shirts in time for the Walk.

15. HOW SHOULD I TRAIN FOR THIS? It's not a marathon, so training isn't really necessary. I suppose you could walk around your neighborhood in the days before hand... but I'd avoid any big gym routine the day before, so you're not sore the day you're hiking. But other than that... I didn't train at all for any of the previous eight walks, and have turned out just fine.

16. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Why not? There's no special reason, no charity, no protest, no issue we're promoting -- other than a passion for Los Angeles. In 2006, I organized our walk down Wilshire to mark my 10th anniversary in Los Angeles. But it was so much fun, and it was a chance to meet so many new people, that we did it again in 2007, down Pico; in 2008, via Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd.; and in 2009, we hit West Adams as we walked down Adams and Washington to Venice Beach. In 2010, we returned to Wilshire for the fifth walk; in 2011, we hit Hollywood; in 2012, it was Melrose's turn; and in 2013, it was all about Sunset Boulevard.
It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving as well, so somehow I don't feel as bad gorging on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie a few days later. And hey, it'll be a cool conversation piece at your holiday party.

17. CAN I SEND IN PHOTOS? READ A RECAP LATER? Of course! We'll have an official GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014 page on Flickr for you to upload your pics. And check out the Monday after the Walk to read a full recap! Send us links to your own recaps, YouTube videos, etc.

18. IMPORTANT: You are walking on your own volition. The Great Los Angeles Walk is just a casual opportunity to walk with other Angelenos through the city. It's not an official organization of any sort -- and is therefore not responsible for your conduct or anything that may happen during your hike. Be careful, and be respectful of others and of your city.

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