Las Vegas hiking group outgrows its ‘overweight’ moniker

Overweight Hikers for Health started in 2013 as a group for people who identified as overweight, and it has grown to more than 2,300 members.

“The concept is for people who are too embarrassed to get out because they don’t think they can keep up with other (hiking groups),” founder Richard Cumelis of Summerlin said. “It’s for them to still have a life. (But) it’s really not just overweight hikers anymore. We tend to attract a crowd who wants to go at a slower pace, socialize and take lots of pictures. There’s a lot of talking and fellowship.”

Members include hikers in their 70s, people recovering from an injury or surgery and children who come with their parents or grandparents.

Cumelis retired after 25 years in the Air Force and starting gaining weight, he said. He started OHH in 2013, about five years after retirement. He hiked with his dog but was physically unable to go more than a few hundred yards, he said.

“I was nervous if I had a heart attack that I would be alone,” he said. “(And) I knew the other groups were too fast. I knew I couldn’t keep up with them.”

Someone suggested to Cumelis that he start a group to get others involved and to make himself feel safer. He called it OHH.

OHH meets at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Mount Charleston, Lake Mead, Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs and Clark County Wetlands Park. There are about seven members, including Cumelis, who lead hikes of various levels. Groups also have gone on hikes in Pahrump, Arizona and Zion National Park in Utah. Hikes are organized on Meetup.com.

Jennifer Spangler of North Las Vegas is one of the leaders who mostly holds events in the Henderson area. She joined the group about three years ago as a New Year’s resolution after one of her friends found the group on Meetup, she said. Spangler had become interested in hiking after moving to Las Vegas from Victorville, California, in 2007.

Her fiance died from cancer a few years prior, which made her feel depressed and isolated, she said. She joined OHH because she didn’t want to hike alone anymore. She met a member who had lost her husband to cancer.

“I like to explore, but I don’t want to go by myself and get lost,” she said. “With the group, I can explore and make new friends with people who like doing the same things I do.”

She’s done 280 events and has been a leader since 2015.

She usually hosts hikes Sundays at Wetlands Park or the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.

Spangler’s hiking group is great for new hikers of all ages, Cumelis said. Spangler said she prepares the slower-paced hikes because it allows her to take breaks without anyone getting left behind and allows for lots of photos.

“I feel like people should be able to push their own limits,” she said. “If they feel like they’re done, then that’s fine. You’re out here trying, and that’s fine.”

OHH leader Ronni Tomlinson of Summerlin does more advanced hikes of 4-6 miles and sometimes require scrabbling. She joined the group in 2016 after learning about it group from a friend.

“For me, of course, I wanted to get healthy, but I really joined for the love of hiking, not necessarily to lose weight,” she said.

But that’s what happened. As of Aug. 13, she had lost 50 pounds.

Contact Kailyn Brown at kbrown@viewnews.com or 702-387-5233. Follow @kailynhype on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Youth cancer survivor receives gift bat at Winter Meetings
Cancer survivor Steven Mondragon, baseball player at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, California, received a complimentary bamboo bat during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Day 9 Highlights
Highlights from round 9 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like