The four-person Walk Sitka team finished in fifth place overall in the 2021 National Public Health Association’s Keep It Moving Challenge, which started on Jan. 1 and finished on April 11. There were 214 teams total in the national competition.
Walk Sitka featured Jim “Radagast8” Rogers, Kim Riech, Carolyn Black, and Charles Bingham. Another Sitka resident, Karen Hegyi, was on the Ak2Az team that finished in third place, so Sitka walkers were well-represented in the overall standings.
Three of the top five teams actually were individuals competing by themselves. The top “team” was Wcaps, which was Nick Backstrom, aka NBack. He walked 2,350,091 steps during the 100-plus days of the challenge. In second place was Fairfax Walkers (another individual), with 1,706,759 steps. In third place was Az2Ak, which averaged 1,692,638 steps among the six members of the team. Another solo team, JaywalkersOfEdso, was fourth with 1,649,050 steps.
Walk Sitka finished in fifth place with an average 1,629,453 for its four members. Jim led the team with 2,150,044 steps (including one day where he walked more than 100,000 steps, or more than 44 miles). Other Walk Sitka members included Kim with 1,823,306 steps, Carolyn with 1,573,006 steps, and Charles with 1,076,040.
In addition to walking, participants could convert other physical activity to steps, such as biking, gardening, housework, dancing, shoveling snow, swimming, etc. “We had a total of 2,306 participants log over 800 million total steps and activities and convert 70 million activities into distance through Walker Tracker,” an email from the challenge said after it ended.