The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - A recovery plan rooted in walking

Doug Woosnam, 76, of Lower Saucon Township, has been walking for 10 years and credits walking with helping him to overcome some serious health issues. He started walking after his first back surgery in 2010 on the advice of his doctor. “I had to keep one foot on the ground at all times,” he said. Following his third back surgery in January 2013, Doug really kicked it into gear, logging 1,104 miles by the end of the year to rebuild his body.

All that walking was the perfect foundation for a half marathon. When the D&L Heritage Half Marathon created a walking division in 2014, Doug was at the starting line. And he finished 2:54, coming in seventh overall for walkers. He was back again in 2015 and beat his time, finishing in 2:44 and snagging first place for his age group and fifth overall.

“I just feel good about what I can physically do, especially at this age,” Doug said. All that training made a big difference when he suffered a stroke in 2016. “My medical team all agreed that my fitness level—thanks to my walking routine—made the difference from what might have been to what was,” he said. Doug was out of the rehab hospital in just three weeks—half the time of what the doctors expected. And he didn’t stop there!

Twenty months after his stroke, Doug and some younger friends decided to celebrate the coming of summer by walking and playing all 60 holes at Saucon Valley Country Club’s golf course. “I was the only crazy in the group to walk all 60 that day. It was a total journey of 21.4 miles—a lot of swings—and all done in 13.5 hours,” he reported. 

Now Doug is excited to again be participating in a D&L event. One of the things that he loves most about walking on the D&L Trail is all the friendly face saying, “Good morning!” And he’s excited to greet all the Challenge walkers in our Facebook group.

The D&L Trail Challenge is the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor’s biggest fundraiser in 2020. Registration is open through October 15, 2020.