About the Organization

wencheDock St. Walking & Running was founded by Wenché Wahl in the summer of 2011. She worked for years in the shelters of downtown Tacoma and New York City, befriending many homeless people and social workers. She has also been active in the athletic world doing many races, is a USA Track & Field Certified Coach, and is one of the co-founder of the running group Dirty Girls Trail Runners in the Pacific Northwest. She decided to start Dock St. Walking & Running due to the overwhelming interest of both her athletic and homeless friends. This organization responds to the need for an athletic community that raises awareness of homelessness and self-empowerment. Dock St. Walking & Running serves as a friendly, non-competitive group where people of all kinds run together to be energized, think positive, get motivated, and gain the inspiration to get their life back on track. Team members range from beginning walkers to highly athletic racers. Everyone is upbeat, positive, and training for our upcoming races. The team exercises twice a week, one day in Wright Park and one day along the Dock St. boardwalk in Tacoma, a 2-4 mile long trail with a beautiful view of the Puget Sound.

“I am a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, a fulltime student at Highline Community College … and an active member of the Dock St Walking and Running Club. The Dock St Club helped me stay focused and positive about my life getting better. The encouragement and emotional support of the other members made a huge difference to me. Without it, I might not have had the courage to keep trying … the Dock St Club played a big role in getting me where I am now in my ‘recovery’ and will continue to help me pursue my goals and obtain them. I don’t fear becoming homeless again. Thank you Dock St!” — BRIAN G.