2015-16 Walk90 Winner Walked over 1,080 miles

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2015-16 Walk90 winner, Lisa Blount, with her dog Ginger.

For the fourth consecutive year, Healthy Central Florida (HCF) held the Walk90 Challenge – a 90-day friendly, walking competition that allows participants to track steps, cheer each other on and win prizes.  This year’s journey, as in the past, included an online component that allowed participants to log steps and move through a scenic virtual trek along the Appalachian Trail.

This year’s top step-getter, Lisa Blount, along with 335 other participants, began their walk on October 24th and concluded on January 21st, logging a combined total of 78,220,025 steps (about 39,110 miles).  That’s like walking around the earth one and a half times!

Lisa Blount, the Director of Communications & Public Affairs for Florida Realtors from Winter Springs, walked the most steps, 2,166,503, or over 1,083 miles. That is like walking from Orlando to New York City.

For her remarkable feat (get it?), Lisa wins our Grand Prize, a 1-year membership to RDV Sportsplex.  Very special thanks to RDV, our partner for many years, for this generous donation that will help Lisa keep up her fitness routine. 

In second-place, Connie Hoffman,  retired from UCF Student Health Services, walks away with an Apple Watch. Additionally, four other runners-up also win Fitbit Flexes.  In ascending order of their step counts, the final four are Latoya Thompson, Keri Caffrey, Nan Druskin, and Fred Hoffman.  Kudos to all the winners!

Throughout the competition, other walkers won prizes too.  Those who consistently tracked and logged their steps at least once a week were entered to win a weekly prize drawing for Sports Authority gift cards, movie passes, activity trackers and more.

Below is a Q & A with our winner, Lisa Blount.

1.) What did it take to win this challenge?

Commitment to daily goals…and several pairs of quality running shoes.

2.) Were you watching the other walkers in the competition? How did their step totals affect your strategy?

In the beginning, yes.  Having participated in last year’s competition, in which I placed third, I decided this year to start strong. I walked 35,000-40,000 steps a day in the first few weeks. And so did Fred Hoffman. Game on! We kept each other in check in the early days. Then I got injured and couldn’t walk for two weeks. I resigned myself to the fact the it was game over for me. So I didn’t look at the stats. Then, just before the Christmas holidays, I got curious about the competition and logged onto WalkerTracker. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was in the lead again! With my injury healed, I got back into my daily routine of walking at least 30,000 steps a day. And, yes, I checked the stats daily to make sure I was staying ahead of the other competitors.

3.) Besides winning a free membership to RDV Sportsplex and enjoying bragging rights as the winner, what else have you gained from this effort?

As you can imagine, it takes a huge commitment to walk an average of 25,000-30,000 steps a day, which translates to between 10 and 12 miles, for 90 days. But I got so much more in return. Meeting a daily or weekly goal gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. Walking was, and continues to be, my refuge from the daily stressors of life.  And walking helped me lose five pounds!

4.) Did you walk with neighbors, friends, family or a team? If so, how did this affect your journey?

Neighbors and friends but, unlike last year’s competition, I walked a lot by myself — every day at lunch and after work,  and long walks on the weekends. Thank goodness for audiobooks! I also walked with my dog. One epic journey was in early January, last year’s winner, Keri Caffrey, and I walked with our dogs from Winter Springs to Maitland, onto Winter Park and back to the Tuscawilla area via the Cady Way/Cross Seminole Trails. The dogs tuckered out at mile 16. My son came to the rescue for the dogs. The humans soldiered on for another 4 miles!

5.) Did you experience any changes in health during the competition? 
I lost 10 pounds during last year’s competition, and was pleased to drop another 5 pounds this year.
Stay tuned – the next Walk90 Challenge, a virtual tour of the U.S. National Parks, will begin on March 1st.