Join in a unique summer fitness event – a virtual walking trip to Tennessee

July 09, 2020

Join in a unique summer fitness event – a virtual walking trip to Tennessee

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Travel is somewhat different in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Recreational Sports and Services created a unique virtual walking event that combines fitness with an online excursion.

During this virtual walk from Carbondale to Nashville, Tennessee, participants will be able to enjoy the scenic and historic sites they would see if they were really traveling between the two locations.

The free event begins at midnight, Monday, July 13. The activity is open to everyone. Pre-registration is not required.

Here’s how it works

Although participants can join individually, people are encouraged to work with a partner in the challenge. It’s a great way to ramp up the fun and also have someone to help encourage and hold you accountable, organizers say.

The goal is to log enough steps to “walk” from Carbondale to Nashville. For this challenge, every 2,000 walking steps count as one mile. Using FitBits, pedometers, cellphone trackers or other devices, participants can count their steps and report them on the free downloadable tracking form. For the 200 miles to reach Nashville, organizers estimate it will take 400,000 steps. If two partners each walk 10,000 steps daily, the team will “arrive” at the Tennessee destination in just 20 days.

Enjoy the journey

Follow the SIU Student Recreation Center on Facebook or Instagram to see the steps and locations along the way. Participants can also check out many of the points of interest on the event website at Also, be sure and share photos of your walking journey with the SIU Recreation Center at or tag the center on Facebook or Instagram.

For more information, visit or email