Grand Rapids Step Challenge Helps Residents Get Active

by Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

Have resolutions to move more in 2016 stalled or maybe even stayed on the couch? There’s still time to kick it into gear. A Grand Rapids-based program designed to encourage daily activity could also inspire people to sign up for their first race. The Fifth Third River Bank Run 10,000 Steps Challenge is a free, pedometer-based plan that can help participants lace up their sneakers and hit the mall, trail, or track – wherever works to get in those steps. Sarah Laurent is Auxiliary Director for the Fifth Third River Bank Run. She said walkers or runners who sign up will receive a complimentary 12-week walking schedule, pedometer and other gifts from sponsors, including Blue Care Network. “It’s easy, doesn’t take a lot of work and all you have to do is walk,” Laurent said. People can participate in the challenge without signing up for any of the events taking place at the Fifth Third River Bank Run on Saturday, May 14. However, Laurent said many find just getting started is a powerful enough motivator to at least consider walking or jogging one of the 5K events. “That’s an easy one for people,” she said. Community runs and walks are held on the first Saturday of each month through May at the downtown YMCA and challenge participants can stay motivated by keeping track of their movement on DailyMile. Laurent said for those who think it might be too late to take part in River Bank race day, 10K training starts this month and 5K training doesn’t start until March, so there’s plenty of time. “It’s never too late. It’s never too late to get moving,” she said. Along with helping people reach some fitness goals, the challenge has also sparked many friendships over the years, Laurent said. “It’s something that they look forward to that first Saturday is seeing their walking friends,” she said. Providing an easy entry point to the event is important for organizers, who strive to make it accessible to all. “We just want our event to have something for everyone,” Laurent said. Sign up for the 10,000 Steps Challenge here. If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Photo credit: whologwhy

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