Bradley Walks competition registers 27 teams so far

By SARALYN NORKUS Banner Staff Writer
Posted 2/17/17

The start of the second annual Bradley Walks competition is only 18 days away and already, things look to be ramping up for the event.

“This is the second year for Bradley Walks and in a …

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Bradley Walks competition registers 27 teams so far

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The start of the second annual Bradley Walks competition is only 18 days away and already, things look to be ramping up for the event.

“This is the second year for Bradley Walks and in a week and a half (into registration) we already have 27 teams registered. Usually at this time we are at about one, so that is a huge improvement,” Bradley County UT Extension agent Justin Thomas noted with an understatement.

Last year, Bradley Walks had a total of 44 teams sign up, with 40 of those finishing the eight-week program. Those 40 teams turned in around 54,000 miles over those eight weeks.

A part of the Healthier Tennessee Community initiative, the goal of Bradley Walks is to encourage physical activity habits with a bit of “healthy” competition.

“This is a great wellness initiative,” Thomas said.

Bradley Walks will begin on March 6 and registration for the event will run until March 5, although Thomas added that there are a couple days grace period for any last minute teams. There is absolutely no charge to participate in Bradley Walks.

Teams will log their mileage weekly, with the standings being updated to show who is in the lead. After Week 6, the standings are no longer updated and the teams are encouraged to give it their all.

“On average what we see across those eight weeks is anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 miles per team if they are really pushing. Realistically, if your team gets between 700-900 miles you’re doing well,” Thomas commented.

“It’s always interesting to see how the teams level out, who’s doing what and who is pushing it further.”

The team which logs the most miles will win a trophy and also the pride of being top in the county.

The most miles Thomas has seen turned in came during his time in Roane County, where one team logged over 2,500 miles. That team turned out to be using the program to train for an approaching attempt to climb Mout Rainier.

Thomas added that there is always an extreme spike in miles from Week 1 to Week 2, as teams realize that another is outdoing them.

While walking is in its name, Bradley Walks is focused on getting Bradley County more active. The Greenway, Bradley Square Mall and area school’s tracks are all excellent spots to walk, but there are other options to get those miles in. On the website, a sheet detailing physical activity equivalents for Bradley Walks can be found. For example, 20 minutes of water aerobics or 16 minutes of light stationary bike work would equal one mile.

“There’s no excuse at all (to not participate). You can use a stationary bike if you want, there’s water activities, aerobic activity, you can convert most activities to miles,” Thomas detailed.

Instead of having teams of four and teams of eight, there will just be teams of four this year. The teams can come from the workplace, churches, friends and family, the only stipulation is that they have four team members.

Each team must have a team captain who will report all mileage and a team name. Thomas encourages teams to get creative with the names as the UT Extension crew votes on the most creative team name.

Some past names have included “Holy Walk-a-moles” and “Kicking Asphalt.”

Those teams that complete the whole eight weeks will be asked to fill out a brief, 10-question survey and then will receive a T-shirt.

For more information about Bradley Walks or to register, visit the UT Extension site at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Bradley/Pages/Bradley-Walks-Registration.aspx.

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