This year's walk, the 46th year for the event, began at the new SOMC Hospice Center, 2201 25th St., Saturday morning.
Julie Lundy, of Minford, had stickers on her shirt as she walked in memory of two people.
“We're walking in memory of Tony Tarr and Bob Shackart,” Lundy said. “Tony Tar was my dad, and he passed away with colon cancer this past March, and we're walking in his memory. And Bob Shackart passed away of lung cancer in'93.”
Stan Peach, of Portsmouth, who said he has been retired 25 years from The Portsmouth Daily Times circulation department, said he was excited about making the trip again.
“I'm 89, and this is the sixth year for me,” Peach said. “Because Hospice is a good organization. I lost my wife five years ago, and Hospice took care of her.”
Amy Rowe said, “I'm with Mike Free's crew. He's my dad, and he passed away in February, and we're walking in memory of him,” she said, choking back tears.
Kaci Kielmar, 15, had a companion for her walk, her dog, Duke. Kaci was walking for her youth group at St. Mary's Church. As Duke pulled her along the path, her friends quipped that it looked more like Duke was walking her, than her walking Duke.
The 2006 River Days queen and her runners-up were providing the much needed water for the walkers at various stations along the route.
“This is one of the community projects that we are scheduled to do,” said first runner-up Chelsea Lemons.
SOMC Hospice claims and information systems coordinator Sheila Riggs said the event had another purpose as well.
“It would also be a good opportunity for people to tour our new east campus location, since our building project has been completed.”
Walkers collected money from sponsors, mostly a set amount per kilometer walked.
Hikers and supporters won prizes, and awards were presented at the end of the hike to various teams and individuals.