2-4-6-8k: Great races to cap the 100 miles!

Photo Provided

Jaya Davis
100 MILES 100 DAYS

Those who are part of the 100 miles, 100 days walking challenge have gone over 65 miles since we started on June 16! Being a part of a walking challenge brings about a sense of accomplishment and motivation. It also brings accountability to get those miles in each week. This walking challenge has been around for many years, and we hope to have another challenge in the winter months.

But before we start thinking of winter… let’s celebrate all the great work at the end of the 100 days in September. The final event will be on Saturday, Sept. 23. We are inviting people to the Vermont Great 2-4-6-8K Race! The VT Great 2-4-6-8K will be at 3:30 p.m., and is a walk/run relay. You can sign up to do a 2 kilometer (1.2 miles) walk in celebration of your last mile of the 100 days. You could even challenge yourself and walk 4 kilometers (about 2 miles). You could sign-up as a team and make it a relay, or even jog the race if you felt up for it. The race will benefit the Foley Cancer Center. Sign-up online at www.active.com.

This year’s participants can participate in a photo challenge showcasing themselves walking in their favorite place. Check out Come Alive Outside Rutland’s Facebook page to see all the great photos! Send a photo of yourself walking at your favorite location to jaya@comealiveoutside.com!

Walking together as a group is an important component of the 100 miles 100 days challenge. Even if you are not always literally walking with others, you know they are out there walking all around Rutland County throughout the 100 days. One participant said she walks at the Rutland Regional Medical Center Walking Loop and sees others walking the 100 miles challenge as well. Another participant in the challenge stated that knowing others are walking helps keep him motivated day in and day out.

The benefits of walking in a group are being studied and researched. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found “outdoor walking-group participants saw significant improvements in blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, lung function, and mood.” Another great quote from this article from Dr. Paul Ravenna, a physician with Northwestern Medical Group in Chicago, states “for many people, the most difficult part of healthy living is consistency. One of the main benefits of group walking is having other people around to hold you accountable, while at the same time making the experience more enjoyable.” There are many reasons to walk with others and we are lucky to have the 100 miles 100 days challenge to keep us accountable to each other.

Once the 100 miles walking challenge ends in September, think about ways you can keep yourself walking with others. The American Heart Association provides a two-page document on how to create a walking group yourself. Check it out! Just to summarize the four simple steps:

1. Pick your target audience.

2. Set a time.

3. Select the walking route, where you will go.

4. Have a back-up plan for too hot or too cold days.

Another great website about getting group walks organized in your neighborhood is called “Walk with the Doc.” This is an international movement that involves doctors and community members. The Walk with a Doc movement was started in 2005 by a cardiologist named Dr. David Sabgir in Ohio. “He was frustrated by his inability to affect behavior change in the clinical setting.” walkwithadoc.org/who-we-are/

Start thinking of ways to be involved in group walks and stay motivated to keep moving once this 100 miles challenge ends. We must support each other and create a healthy world where we can all feel our best and live the healthiest life possible.