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Fellow Fans of the Kennedy50,

We’re making final plans for the Kennedy50 2018 event which will occur on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Following the tradition, we’ll basically follow the same path and schedule as last year with some improvements that will make this an even more memorable experience. 

Here’s a list of some of some of the new features for the 2018 Kennedy 50:

  • Multiple Ride Options – Harpers Ferry (Sat morning & Sat night) to Anglers, shuttles, rescue rides
  • Scheduled Support Stops – 5 guaranteed stops with open/close schedules
  • Check-In Timing – Check in at 5 locations to report your times
  • More event food and support – more variety and healthier choices
  • Friday Reception at Event Central HQ (Harpers Ferry) – early check-in, info table, buffet
  • Special Early Registration Discounts – Save $ if you commit by December 3, 2017
  • Deluxe Support Weekend Package option includes:
    • 2 nights (Fri & Sat) at the best hotel in Harpers Ferry
    • Each room – 2 Queen beds
    • Continental breakfast plus 2 meals – Pre-event & post event
    • Heated swimming pool
    • Gym / Fitness Center
    • Restaurant/Bar

We’re tying up the final event details and registration will begin on Tuesday November 21.

NOTE: The information contained on this website may not yet be updated for 2018. This site will be in an edited status until we release the final event details (expected 11/21/17).

Thanks for your patience.

Paul Kiczek
FreeWalkers Founder
11/16/17

 


A hearty group of 50 showed up for our for our Kennedy50 Walk in 2017 on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

We hope you all enjoyed the adventure. Speaking for the support team this year, we had a great time in a whirlwind 18-hour 50-mile chase. You can see the results of our post-event survey here.

Our group of 50 represented 12 states and Quebec, Canada. We had at least 10 individuals who were experienced Kennedy50 walkers and came back again for another try. The weather was sunny and good for walking as long as you kept going and didn't mind the low temperature and mild wind. We expect to post some thoughts about the event in the coming days so visit this site again for an update and consider joining us again next year and for other events we are planning in the greater DC area.

 

 

 

 


Background on the 50-Mile Walk

On February 9, 1963, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy walked from Great Falls, Maryland to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The journey was initialized by his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who had reiterated an earlier 50 mile military walking challenge of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Now, we've recreated the same walk at the same place and roughly the same time each year. This event is organized by the FreeWalkers, a social network of long distance walkers, that hosts spectacularly challenging national and international walking events. This event is a special one since it commemorates the significance of the "50-mile hike" started in 1963. 

Bobby, ever the spark plug in an active administration, decided to take the challenge himself, long before the troops. So, three days after the initial idea was set in motion, the Attorney General set out with his staff on the most natural long trail in the area, the C&O Canal Towpath, and headed north to Harper's Ferry. It was more than they bargained for, and only one would make the distance. In dress Oxford shoes, no less. Guess who?

Click Here to Learn More >>


 

Celebrating the Can-do Spirit of 1963 in 2013

We welcomed a group of 30+ long distance walkers and recreated this historic walk on Saturday, February 9, 2013 - exactly 50 years to the day when Bobby walked his famous 50 miles. There were Oxford dress shoes, office attire and many carrying "big sticks". It's fair to say the Kennedy spirit was palpably in the air!

That walk and a thirst for physical challenge led to a popular, short-lived U.S. fad walking extreme distances of up to 50 miles in 1963. 80 kilometer marches also resulted then in Europe and continue today. The "50-mile Walk" is yet a testament to fitness, endurance and determination. You may choose to join us next time, walk your own long distance walk elsewhere, or just follow along on this website as we get ready to again fulfill the challenge here and in Europe this spring and summer. 

park map of 50-mile walk

 

50-MKW Summary - Walking with Bobby

Distant Thoughts | Walking with Bobby Kennedy - Here's a post-event wrap up of the experience of creating the 2013 walk and how it rolled out. Its a story of inspiration, perspiration and a little luck from the spirit of the Kennedy's.

 

Walking for a Change

on Sat, 12/24/2016 - 11:52

Would you attempt to walk 50 miles in a day if dared to do so? Attorney General Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy apparently could not pass up the challenge—especially when it was coming from his older brother, President John F. Kennedy. 

On February 9, 1963, the Saturday after the President issued his challenge, Bobby Kennedy recruited four of his aides and set out to walk 50 miles along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath from Great Falls, Md. to Harpers Ferry, WV. Of the five who set out, Bobby Kennedy was the only one to complete the challenge finishing in 17 hours and 50 minutes.

Jackie's Cartier Watch For Sale at Auction

on Sat, 05/13/2017 - 21:45

This article appeared in JCK Magazine, May 12, 2017

In its upcoming Rare Watches and American Icons auction in New York City, Christie’s will feature a Cartier Tank watch that was owned by—and was a firm favorite of—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

A gift to the first lady from her brother-in-law, Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill, in 1963, she wore this particular Tank watch for decades. It can be seen on her wrist in many photos (like the one to the right).

The gold watch features the engraving: “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb.

My first 100K or the value of training

on Sun, 12/01/2013 - 05:00

by Imants P.

Here's one walker's opinion on walking long distance events, including the 50-Mile Kennedy Walk 2013. Practice and conditioning are the key to a successful outcome, but results may vary...

The first time I heard about the Sierra Club One-Day-Hike (ODH) was in March of 2012 when I bumped into the organizer Mike Darzi on the Northwest Branch trail near Silver Spring, MD. In one minute Mike was able to convince me to try one of the ODH events. With relatively short training on top of my already decent shape I finished the 50K in good time.

The Summer of 62

on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 02:01

This is a post from John Brennan that appeared in 50Milehikers.ning.com - was originally posted as the "Summer of 62'" on Jan 5, 2010, Not sure the dating here because the 50-mile hike took off in 1963, but the article sure demonstrates the spirit of the times. Did California lead the way?

The Summer of '62?

What made the year especially memorable for me was a hike I took with two fellow thirteen-year old school friends. Mind you, this was no ordinary jaunt, and no ordinary event.

Walking 50 Miles: Tucson 1963

on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 22:36

Jim Magner, author of A Haunting Beauty: Vietnam Through the Eyes of an Artist (ahauntingbeauty.com), relives his 1963 experience walking 50 miles in Arizona during the 50-mile Hike craze. HIs  journey, told in 5 parts follows:

 Part One, the stage is set.

It was a Friday night in early February, 1963. My buddies Gene and Richard, and I, along with a couple of other guys who walked the dogs between races at “Greyhound Park,” drove to a canyon 20 miles northeast of Tucson in my 55 Ford convertible.