Sole Mates: Wellesley walkers get organized

A new Wellesley walking group dubbed Sole Mates has formed to bring those who want company while trotting around town to find each other easily.

You can join the Sole Mates group on Facebook, then suggest a walk or join one that’s been posted. As of July 20, the new group had several dozen members.

Donna Sheehy O’Kane launched the group with Sharon Murray after seeing a post from Murray on the What’s Up Wellesley Facebook group asking if there was a walking group in town.

“Having no knowledge of one, I responded and told her I’d be interested in forming one. She and I exchanged phone numbers, took a walk and became fast friends! Learning that we are both breast cancer survivors and that Sharon is also living with MS, Sole Sisters came to mind, but we wanted the group to include everyone…thus, ‘Sole Mates.'”

Wellesley Trails Committee-led walk of Fuller Brook Park's Brook Path
Brook Path walkers


O’Kane says the group is judgment free: no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter how fast you walk, and no matter how far you want to go, you are always welcome among Sole Mates. If enough people are on a walk, the group might split up to accommodate different paces and distances.

For starters, the group will walk the Fuller Brook Path on Wednesdays at 6pm, but others are welcome to suggest walks at other times and locations.

O’Kane loved walking at Centennial Reservation when she had a dog, and enjoys the Lake Waban loop as well.

“But the Brook Path is the jewel of Wellesley in my personal opinion. After undergoing multiple surgeries and treatment I didn’t want to deal with home maintenance and considered selling my house to live the condo life, which would have meant leaving Wellesley.  I was walking the Brook Path and it occurred to me that unless I could afford to live along the Charles River in the Back Bay or Cambridge I couldn’t duplicate what the Brook Path offers. There is always a friendly face greeting you with a smile and a hello as you pass.”

O’Kane isn’t a mile logger either. “I am solely a walker.”

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