Four Week Marathon

Beginning at midnight tonight, 2,830 people from across The United Methodist Church will begin a 4-week challenge. The challenge is open to members of the denominational health insurance plan, HealthFlex, who are participating in the HealthMiles rewards incentive program.

As we’ve blogged before (see Racking Up HealthMiles), we are participating in the HealthMiles program, which involves wearing a pedometer to count the number of steps we take. We upload our steps to the HealthMiles website via USB cable to earn rewards.

The HealthMiles program allows organizations to conduct organization-wide challenges once a year. A couple weeks ago, we received an email inviting us to participate in the first ever HealthFlex-wide challenge, a 4-week challenge that begins tomorrow (7/15). Twenty minutes after the email went out, I was the 70th person to sign up. When registration closed last night, a total of 2,830 people had signed up.

The challenge will track the number of steps each participant takes over the next 4 weeks. There will be both individual and team components. Teams will be determined by conference relationship (in addition to a college and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits). There are 32 teams in the challenge.

Team results will be determined by the average number of steps per day for each team member. Individual results will be determined by the total number of steps. There is a 30,000-step/day cap (my sense in reading the rules is that the cap is to deter people from cheating).

Each member of the winning team will receive 250 HealthMiles (i.e., reward points); 100 HealthMiles will go to each person of the second place team. In the individual competition, the top 50 people will receive a cash prize ($100 for first place, $75 for second, $50 for third, and $25 goes to those who place 4-50).

I’m excited about the challenge. I’ve been raring to go ever since the challenge was issued. I have at least three personal goals …

  1. To help my team (Central Pennsylvania Conference) win the team competition!
  2. To test my endurance and consistency (i.e., to pace myself and to rack up as many steps as possible every day)!
  3. And while there’s *always* someone out there who can do more, I’m playing to win! 😀

Part of the fun is that participants will be able to chart their progress and placement during the challenge at the HealthMiles website. Participants can also post comments on the chat page and with 2,830 participants, that could be interesting!

Well, I’ll write about the experience at the finish line (unless I decide to blog along the way, periodically). In the meantime, let the challenge begin!

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Randy Willis

Follower of Jesus. Husband, Dad. Pastor.

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