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America’s Walking Club is making final preparations for a weeklong international walking / swimming / bicycling event that will take place in San Antonio in February 2023. It will include three days of walks that will take place right here in the King William neighborhood.

The event is a combination of the Texas Trail Roundup (an annual 3-day event), and the Olympiad (an international walking event that happens every two years). This is the first time that these two events are being held together.

The Texas Trail Roundup

This is a noncompetitive international walking festival that encourages ‘walking for fitness’. It is one in a series of annual events held around the world, sanctioned by the IML Walking Association.

The Olympiad

The International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) has scheduled its bi-annual Olympiad for 2023 to be held here in San Antonio. Prior Olympiads have been held in France, Germany, China, Turkey, Japan, Austria, Italy -- all over the world.

This is the first time, however, that the event will be held anywhere in the Americas. It’s quite an honor that the IVV chose San Antonio for this event, and its host - the American Volksport Association (AVA), which is headquartered on South Alamo Street - is looking forward to welcoming participants from around the world.

The events in our neighborhood

It begins on February 19 with a Texas Trail Roundup community walk in the King William neighborhood. This event offers two options to participants — a 5k walk and a 10k walk.

The King William Association awarded a grant to America’s Walking Club for this community walk. In addition, participants pay a nominal registration fee of $3, which is the standard fee charged by the club.

After the walk there will be a ‘parade of flags’ and the opening ceremony for the Olympiad

On February 23 - the final day of the Olympiad - there will be another walk that goes through the King William area. This walk offers a 5K option and a 10K option that include downtown and King William, and a 21K option that extends to additional areas in the near South Side.

On February 25, the Texas Trail Roundup routes will once again include the King William area. There is a 5K option that goes through the neighborhood; a 13K route that goes to Mission Concepcion and returns through the neighborhood; and marathon and half marathon options where participants will be bussed to start points on the greenway/Mission Trail system.

These three neighborhood events are just 'the tip of the iceberg'. The festival includes events throughout San Antonio between February 19th and February 26th. You can see a full schedule of events here.

Getting involved

There are a couple of ways in which you can get involved in this international walking festival.

First, you can register to participate in any of the events over the course of the week. You can do that online on the Olympiad / Texas Trail Roundup Walking Festival website. Here’s a link to the registration form.

Second, you can volunteer to help out with the festivities. Volunteers are needed for set-up, to facilitate the events themselves, for the silent auction, for start and finish tables, for merchandise sales, and for other activities. Here’s a link to the volunteer form.

In addition, there will be an“Olympic Village” in La Villita that will host some celebrations and events throughout the week, some of which will be open to the public. Visit the Olympiad / Texas Trail Roundup Walking Festival website which will be updated with more information as the event nears.

Andy Thomas is the Deputy Director of the American Volkssport Association

An International Walkfest, right here in the neighborhood!

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