YMCA hosts 100 Miles kickoff

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, April 26, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The YMCA of Chilton County is serving as the local host for the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge.

This statewide program encourages Alabamians to improve their health by completing 100 miles of activity in 12 months.

Allison Tubbs of the YMCA of Chilton County said the state program steering committee has reached out to partners and community organizations to participate by hosting kickoff events.

The Chilton County kickoff will be May 12 at 1 p.m. and will include local speakers, a one-mile walk and free healthier drink options from the Alabama Beverage Association, which is one of the state sponsors for the program.

The first 50 attendees will also receive a free hat or T-shirt.

The one-mile walk to start participants’ journey will be on the trail from the Y to Goose Pond Park and back.

Participation in the program is free.

YMCA director Lori Patterson said to complete 100 miles in a year averages out to about two miles a week.

She said the YMCA wanted to host the kickoff event as a way “to promote health and wellness in the community … to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes and to get active.”

While this is the first year the state has held such a program, it is expected to become an annual event.

“It has actually been modeled from other states’ (programs),” Tubbs said. ” Missouri has one. North Carolina has one.”

Tubbs said the program adds an almost game quality to physical activity, which makes people more likely to reach their goals.

Registration for the program should be completed at 100alabamamiles.org.

The website is also used to log miles.

“You can get your miles by doing any kind of activity,” Tubbs said. “You can walk. You can swim. You can do a group fitness class. There is an activity converter on the website that you will put in that you did aerobics for 60 minutes, and it will convert to how many miles.”

Tubbs said family members and even pets can be added to an account, so “everyone can track their miles together.”

Even though the initial goal is 100 miles, organizers hope that participants will not stop there but continue to track miles.

Virtual badges that can be posted on social media are awarded throughout the program.

“You actually get your first badge when you sign up, just saying that you are in the program,” Tubbs said.

Other badges are awarded at the 100, 250, 500 and 1,000 mile markers. There are also badges given for specific activities and locations.

While miles can be completed anywhere, the program is encouraging participants to use this as an opportunity to explore Alabama’s trail system and parks.

Chilton County boasts three locations of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, including Maplesville City Park, Confederate Memorial Park and Minooka Park. Information on all of Alabama’s trails can be found at alabamarecreationtrails.org, including trails for hiking, walking and mountain biking.

Noah Galloway, a U.S. Army veteran that lost a part of his arm and a section of his leg in combat, is the spokesperson for this year’s program.

“By having him as the public figure it shows that anyone can do this,” Tubbs said.

Other state sponsors include Alabama Trails Commission, The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Lakeshore Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Jefferson County Department of Health, AARP, Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Obesity Task Force.