Stretch your legs and get ready to move, Badgers!
Between Sept 1. and Sept. 30, venture outside to participate any way you can. Travelling within your local community to explore routes and trails is a great way to participate in Homecoming activities this year no matter where you are in the world.
“Going for a walk can decrease the release of cortisol, which is also referred to as a stress hormone, which can have beneficial effects for well-being,” says Cheryl McCormick, Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies’ Faculty of Mathematics and Science.
The 5KM Your Way event is all about moving your body and prioritizing your mental and physical wellbeing. Research has shown an array of benefits that being outdoors can have on physical, mental and emotional health, particularly in natural settings. Take some time out of the hustle and bustle of your daily life to enjoy some quality time with yourself, your loved ones, and good ol’ mother nature!
We encourage you to wear your favourite Brock gear or the colour orange in support of residential school survivors and Indigenous communities.
How to Participate
- Commit to travelling 5km. Hike a local trail, walk around your neighbourhood, hop on a treadmill—it’s up to you!
- Take photos to document your participation and have fun
- Submit a photo to our Community Event Board by Sept. 30 for your chance to win Apple AirPods*
Find a Route
As the longest trail network in the world, the Trans Canada Trail connects Canadians and visitors to nature from coast to coast to coast through accessible and inclusive outdoor activities. Explore the map to see if there’s a trail near you.
Dry conditions and extreme wildfire danger pose a significant risk across Canada. Before heading out on the Trans Canada Trail, please consult the latest updates from the Government of Canada, your provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as organizations that manage your chosen section of the Trail.
If you’re interested in hiking your 5km but aren’t sure where to find natural trails, try searching for conservation areas in your region or search for national and/or provincial parks. There are hundreds of conservation areas across Ontario alone. Hidden within these natural gems are lakes, rivers and streams, wetlands, sand dunes, beaches, waterfalls, caves, forests and natural heritage sites.
We’ve compiled some common hazards to help you plan your journey on this page. You are solely responsible for your safety while participating in the 5KM Your Way event.
Be mindful of weather conditions for the day you plan to participate and please be aware that access to public washrooms may not be available. Watch your local, provincial and federal public health notices for announcements on closures and guidance on how to safely participate in your local community during the ongoing pandemic.
- Research your hike and check for trail closures or changes
- Make parking reservations or purchase day passes where required
- Washrooms may be closed or unavailable so plan accordingly
- Pack essentials like water, snacks, and wear clothing that is weather appropriate (consider layers)
- Avoid hiking alone if possible
- Stay on the trail and follow the trail markers. This not only helps keep you safe and on track, but it also protects sensitive vegetation from damage caused by wanderers and prevents unintentional trespassing on private property
- Watch your step. Take extra care where paths are rocky, follow cliff edges, or pass caves or crevices, etc.
- Don’t litter. If trash cans are full, bring your garbage home with you
- Leave nature as you found it. This includes not feeding wildlife
- Do not underestimate rivers, streams, or other water bodies. Use caution and common sense and be mindful that even shallow, swiftly flowing bodies of water can have enough force to unsteady a person
- Be careful around caves, cliffs, and crevices you may encounter on your trail. Do not take risks around them as you can seriously injure yourself
- You may come in contact with a variety of animals and wildlife depending on where you choose to travel
- If you are hiking along a natural trail, do research on potential wildlife hazards (like black bears, coyotes, snakes, etc.) and learn strategies on how to protect yourself if you encounter such wildlife
- Watch out for noxious plants like poison ivy, giant hogweed, wild parsnip, etc.
- Stick to sidewalks where possible. If you travel along the side of the road, ensure that you are facing traffic so you can see what’s approaching you to avoid serious injury
- Wear reflective clothing if you walk at night
- Cross safely at intersections and never assume vehicles see you or will stop
- Walk single file on the road if travelling in a group, not side by side to minimize risk, especially around blind corners
- Don’t walk alone at night if possible
- Be alert and pay attention to your surroundings (if you’re wearing earbuds, don’t blast the volume too loud or keep one earbud out so you can hear what’s happening around you simultaneously)
- Avoid walking on the road during times of the day where sun glare creates blind spots for motorists. This includes early in the morning or later in the day when the sun is lower on the horizon and motorists are facing the sun. Drivers won’t be able to see more than a few yards ahead, if at all, which puts you at higher risk. Stick to sidewalks or choose a different time of day to travel your route
Heat + Hypothermia
- Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn
- If you are hiking, walking, running, jogging, etc. avoid heavy exertion in hot temperatures and stay hydrated to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Dress warmly, in layers, and stay dry to avoid hypothermia (yes, it’s possible to get hypothermia on a warm sunny day if the right combination of conditions occurs). Protect yourself from wind and rain, drink plenty of water, and do not over-exert
Thunderstorms + Lightning
- Check the forecast before you venture on your 5km route. Do not go outside if a storm is expected
- If you hear thunder or lightning while on your trail, avoid open spaces, hills and high places or steep slopes. If you are in a forest stay there, but keep away from the edge of the forest, clearings or isolated trees. Do not lie down on the ground. Squat low to the ground with your feet together and keep your arms near your body. Tuck your head between your knees and avoid making contact with the ground with any other part of your body. This will reduce your risk of being struck by lightning
- Wind is a significant danger when working in the forest or in an area with trees. Wind can cause weakened parts of the tree or Chicots (dead standing trees) to fall from above resulting in serious injury or death. If wind speeds exceed 40 km/hr activities should be stopped or suspended until conditions moderate