Vestal native starts a female walking club, builds a local sisterhood

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 11:43 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - Less than two months ago, a Vestal native began what’s now known as the Binghamton Lady Walking Club.

Gabrielle Gleason, the club’s founder and captain, reflected about how this daily exercise outlet got started. “Making a time that was free for people to come, attend, be with other girls, not work, meet people that were in the area,” said Gleason. “I’m from Vestal born and raised and I started getting to a point where I felt a little disconnected.”

To feel more connected, Facebook was used to get the word out about the walking club. Each day, the morning and evening locations are the same.

“We just hit 98 members,” said Gleason. “We have working moms, we have grandmas that come, we have high schoolers. So 6:45 in the morning is when we go around the Tier (Southern Tier) and then 6 p.m. at night is when we go. Those are corresponding tracks.”

The founder said a walk’s duration is individualized for anyone’s lifestyle and pace. “So we’ve done half-mile walks,” she said. “Some girls come towards the end and they stay there. Some girls come super early and get a workout in on the bleachers beforehand. So walks can be as long or as short you want.”

It’s not just about walking, it’s also about building a sisterhood. “I’ve already gained, I would say, five girlfriends from this that we want to already do other things. Go get drinks, go hang out, go to the mall,” she said. “That’s been a huge win that I honestly never saw. I started this group just walking by myself.”

When weather conditions go south, the walking club meets at the Oakdale Mall. During the winter months, the plan is to continue the walks. Locals are invited to search ‘Binghamton Lady Walking Club’ on Facebook to join the walking community, find specific walking locations, and more.