May features bike, walk challengesGet ready to step into fitness. Two challenges are launching in Superior next week, both aimed at getting people moving.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Get ready to step into fitness. Two challenges are launching in Superior next week, both aimed at getting people moving.
The second annual BID Walkabout kicks off Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Center City Park. The event will include freebies from local businesses, an initial walk through the city, free maps and information. Pedometers will be handed out to the first 36 people to register for the challenge. Last year, 95 walkabout participants kept track of the steps they walked along four pre-mapped walking routes in the city over a three month period.
“Last year’s Walkabout program was a huge success,” said Brody Bakken, program director. “We had a lot of participants walking several hundred miles through the BID last year.”
Mary Sweeney, 69, earned the top spot in the 2011 walkabout, taking a recorded 440,450 steps (220.25 miles) along BID routes from May 23 to Aug. 23.
The routes are the same this year, but the time frame has been shortened. Walkers will compete to see who can take the most steps along BID routes over three weeks. Anyone who takes 2,000 steps three times a week along the BID routes is eligible to attend an awards event May 23 for a chance to win prizes.
The shortened time frame should increase enthusiasm and keep ideas fresh during this year’s walkabout, according to BID Marketing Coordinator Tracy Ryks.
“The program will have the commitment and TLC it deserves,” she said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
Participants send tallies of their steps to the BID via e-mail. Bakken will record the steps and send out inspirational messages to the walkers. The online piece tripped up Krissi Patterson with the University of Wisconsin-Superior, who took part in the challenge last year.
“I like the setup and the accountability piece (online logging), but I didn’t follow through like I should have,” she said. “I do walk a lot but don’t log it or even wear a pedometer. I just know the routes I walk and how many miles they are, and it works.”
Patterson is also hoping to get wheels spinning throughout Douglas County during the 2012 Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge. The free program begins May 1 and runs until Aug. 31. Its goal is to unite 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles. Following a successful pilot program in Wisconsin last year, the challenge encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. It’s free and open to anyone who lives in the United States. People can sign up as individuals or teams. Like the Walkabout challenge, participants keep track of their miles and log them online. For more information, look up the challenge website at www.endomondo.com/campaign/national/.
Whether you choose to bike or walk, Bakken said, the main goal behind the challenges is to increase fitness and health.
“Getting exercise is easier and less intimidating than a lot of people think,” he said. “Walking, taking the stairs and riding bike to work are all easy examples of exercise.”
The BID Walkabout is one way to motivate people to get moving.
“I get really excited about health and wellness and love to be around it,” Bakken said. “I am excited to walk with others and hear their personal health and wellness stories.”
People can register for the BID Walkabout by sending their name, address, telephone number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by the Tuesday kickoff.