I've never been a big organized sports person and I don't run. A high school soccer injury still pains my knee and I never expected to participate in a 10K.

I've never been a big organized sports person and I don't run. A high school soccer injury still pains my knee and I never expected to participate in a 10K.

The New Albany Walking Classic was a great fit, though. The distance was perfect, the event well organized and the course picturesque.

I must admit I was a little skeptical of the 3,500 walkers. I don't like crowds.

I got to Market Square at about 8:15 Sunday morning and the crowd was already building. By the 9 a.m. start time, I was sandwiched with 3,500 other walkers on Market Street and regretting my decision to participate.

Once the walk started, though, the crowd thinned out and I started enjoying myself. There was a great attitude among the walkers. Everyone was happy to be there and encouraging. The volunteers placed along the route were clapping and cheering every step of the way.

I also loved the music on the trail. The two garage bands, marching band and New Albany Symphony Orchestra were a great touch. Every time the walk got a little boring you could hear a few notes of music coming up around the bend.

My parents walked with me and had never been to New Albany before, so this was a great introduction to the community I always talk to them about.

They were surprised to see all the Girl Scout brownies and residents sitting along the route cheering, and I was too.

It was another situation in which I have seen great community spirit in New Albany. Sometimes, attending events or meetings I am amazed at the level of community involvement. After reporting for three years, you start to get used to apathy. You're not surprised when public meetings are poorly attended and events just don't get off the ground.

But more often than not, events in New Albany are well supported and well attended. It's refreshing to see.

While I'm sure many of the participants at the New Albany Walking Classic were out-of-towners, the residents sitting on their lawns clapping and cheering for the walkers weren't. It was nice to see people out waving instead of grumbling about a few closed roads.

With the great show of support and excellent organization, I may be putting a few more New Albany Walking Classics on my calendar in the future.

ThisWeek staff writer Jennifer Noblit reports on New Albany, Plain Township and the New Albany-Plain Local School District. E-mail jnoblit@thisweeknews.com

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