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I walked my first March of Dimes walk many years ago while in highschool. I think it was one of their first events, and it was my first time participating in an organized walking event. That was almost 30 years ago (eek! I was in highschool that long ago?!?). I have participated in the March of Dimes walk several times over the years as well as a variety of other charity events.

The March of Dimes walk is a true walker's event and one of the best organized events of it's kind. Many of the charity events are actually running events that only tolerate walkers, but the March of Dimes walk is set up so that walkers of all fitness levels can participate.

WalkAmerica has the best on route support of any walk I have ever participated in, with port-o-lets, water stops, and lots of food available. The other nice thing about this walk, especially for a novice to organized events, is that you can go at any pace. The distance varies depending on your location, but in most locations it is approximately 20 k. (That is about 12 miles.) The location here in Dallas is a loop around our local lake. This route is closer to 15 k, so check the distance of your route. You do want to know what to expect. They make it easy for you to take your time, with frequent support stops, so 15 to 20 k is a doable distance for most walkers.

Get your friends to join you because this is a fun filled day, with a party atmosphere. And while you and your friends are having fun and staying fit, you are raising funds to save innocent babies from birth defects, low birthweight and infant death.

In most locations the WalkAmerica walk is held in April, so sign up today, get your friends together, and go for a walk.

To find out more about WalkAmerica go to March of Dimes WalkAmerica or call toll free 1-800-525-WALK.

WalkAmerica facts from the March of Dimes:

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies. For more information, visit the March of Dimes web site or the new Spanish web site.

WalkAmerica draws more than one million volunteers each year as part of our mission to prevent birth defects and infant mortality.

WalkAmerica 2000 had 20,000 teams with 500,000 walkers. Walks were held in 1,400 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico

The WalkAmerica goal is to raise $95.6 million in 2001. $88.5 million was raised from the 2000 WalkAmerica.

WalkAmerica is the longest runningWalk fundraiser in America, marking it's 30th anniversary with WalkAmerica 2000.

March of Dimes walkers raise more than one billion dollars for research, education, community programs and advocacy to support healthier babies.

Money raised by these volunteers over the years has funded important medical breakthroughs including the following development of the vaccines that protect every baby from polio; introduction of special intensive care nurseries in hospitals, used to care for sick newborns; research leading to the first successful surgery to correct birth defects while a baby is still in the womb; development of ultrasound testing to diagnose heart defects