Last updated: March 11. 2014 10:49AM - 905 Views

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By Kevin Spradlin


Producing non-metallic industrial minerals must be difficult work. At the very least, it translates well into steps.

Through the first week of the inaugural RichmondFit challenge, three employees of Unimin Corporation, of Marston, have the highest average number of steps and tops the list of teams participating in the initiative coordinated by the First in Health Richmond County 2020 Task Force.

Since the March 3 kickoff, 253 people have registered and 160 people already have logged activity — ranging from running, cycling and canoeing to carrying or chopping firewood, gardening, painting or playing Ping-Pong. Participants’ favorite activity so far is leisurely walking, with 81 hours logged, followed by housework, walking at a quick pace and playing with the kids.

Trophies will be awarded to the winning companies both in the large and small company group. A large company consists of more than 15 individuals participating in the event. The top three individuals will also be recognized.

“I could not be more happy” with the number of registered users, said Roxanne Elliott, of FirstHealth Community Services. “I think it’s absolutely fantastic that different businesses are signing on.”

Elliott said there was a concern that only large employers in Richmond County would participate but that’s not the case at all.

“Walmart, the school system, The Daily Journal, the hospital … there’s a great diversity of work sites signed up,” Elliott said. “I think the number of people who have signed up is outstanding. We didn’t really know what to expect.”

What has surprised Elliott just as much is participants’ use of the community online forum at www.richmondfit.org. The forums allow people to post their goals — and people are being honest.

“My goal is to become physically fit for my kids,” wrote one mother.

One man said his goal is to get his weight down to 190 — a journey on which he’s already lost more than 40 pounds.

Some users already are planning beyond the April 30 end of RichmondFit.

One participant posted goals “to become healthier, fitter and to lose about 12 pounds during the challenge. I also plan to progress even further after the challenge is finished.”

Elliott, too, already has started brainstorm ways to “continue the momentum” once the event ends next month. Meanwhile, weekly bragging rights for top teams and individuals can be earned through no small amount of hard work. Through late Monday morning, Unimin Corporation’s three employees were in first place with an average of 85,245 steps per person.

Richmond County government employees, with a 21-person team, were second with an average of 53,229 steps — and a total of more than 1.1 million steps so far. The six-person team at Discovery Place KIDS was third with an average of 49,350 steps per teammate. The city of Hamlet and FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, each with seven-person teams, rounded out the top five teams.

While registration was originally scheduled to end Monday, Elliott said it’s likely it will be extended to Friday as the kickoff was relocated due to, and hampered by, inclement weather. People are still just finding out about the challenge, she said.

For more information, visit www.richmondfit.org.

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