Friday, March 6, 2009

Walk to the Moon?

The University of Illinois has a promotional contest to encourage employees and their friends and family to exercise. It's called "Moon Walk 2009." People register in teams (minimum of 5) and log all their exercise activities (walking, running, biking, swimming, etc). The contest goes for 10 weeks (from April 3 through June 12) and team members log activity on a weekly basis. Teams compete for most "miles" achieved with prizes awarded weekly and at the end of the contest (there are other milestone awards too). There is a mile conversion chart for various activities...running counts as 1.5 miles per 1 mile run! The competition is actually organized by UI Extension and is an outreach to the full community (not just university staff). Apparently there is a competition between cities too--Champaign is up against Peoria and the Quad Cities. I have been asked to organize a team for our office--I think people are drooling for my running miles. And with the dates of the contest, I'll have some serious miles just from a few races: McNaughton Park 100 miler (counts as 150 miles), Gnaw Bone 50K (will get 46 miles), and my 7-day race will likely reap me 450 miles (300 miles converted to 450). FYI...hilly hiking actually counts as 2 per mile completed. So if I run the hilly Clinton Lake trail does that count as 2x or 1.5x miles? Or a combo of run-hike for 3x miles!

The top individual last year had 1203 miles. I can get half of that in just 3 events. So, is this type of contest worthwhile? They charge $5 per individual. Should I create a team? Will this motivate others in my office? Should I forsake my office peers and grab a few fellow buffalo instead? Do I do this for health or performance?

UPDATE: I am now the captain of a team with 5 members. All non-runners. Should be fun.

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