Where there once was three, there are now four communities named Amherst that are each vowing to walk further than the others during the month of February.
Initiated in 2021 by the Town of Amherst, N.S., as an attempt to keep people active during the winter weary second month of the year, the original Amherst vs Amherst Walking Challenge was taken up by Amherst, N.H., and Amherst, N.Y.
Those three communities are being joined in this year’s challenge by Amherst, Mass.
“We came in a solid second last year and this year, we’re aiming to walk further than any of our American friends,” Allison Watson, Amherst, N.S.’s active living co-ordinator said on Jan. 18, 2022, during the launch of this year’s Amherst vs Amherst Walking Challenge.
“Anyone of any age can participate. We’re sure the people in Amherst, N.S., will take up the challenge to beating the winter blues and become healthier by getting out and getting active. Our citizens like a challenge and I’m sure we will walk further than any of the other Amhersts.”
The rookies from Amherst, Mass., are eager to take up the challenge.
“Here in Amherst, Mass., we are thrilled to answer the call from the other communities and join the Amherst vs Amherst Walking Challenge this year,” Brianna Sunryd, the communications manager/community participation officer for the American town, said.
“Our community is proud of our ample recreation areas and trails. We look forward to hitting the ground in February.”
The folks from Amherst, N.Y., believe they can repeat their win from last year.
“We are excited and motivated as a community to retain our miles travelled win from last year,” community spokesperson Lisa Kistner said. “This is a fun, healthy, competitive way to push through the worst month of the year. We are grateful to Amherst, N.S., for coming up with this idea and look forward to this year’s challenge.”
“Amherst, N.H., is ready for a comeback,” spokesperson Rachel O’Sullivan said. “We are excited to have our neighbours in Massachusetts also joining the challenge this year and can’t wait to log those miles.”
Starting on Feb. 1, the citizens of each community are encouraged to walk, jog, run, snowshoe or hike and then log the distance they travelled at https://forms.gle/Y2enM8o1zr3vYVMt7.
People will be able to track the distance each community has travelled on the Amherst vs Amherst Facebook page at https://fb.me/e/2bVlokCWJ.
Last year, the communities attempted to see which town could travel the fastest from Amherst, N.S., to Amherst, Texas, and back, while “visiting” as many Amhersts in North America as possible. This year, the challengers are just seeking to walk further than any of their counterparts.
At the end of the month, the number of miles/kilometres each community travels each day will be added up to determine who travelled the furthest. Organizers will also determine who travelled furthest on a per capita basis, with the realization that the true winners of the Amherst vs. Amherst challenge will be the participants from all four communities who used exercise to get healthier while defeating the winter blues.