Faculty and staff enjoy 'amazing' month of physical activity

Team Fab 5 wins the inaugural 'Amazing Race' challenge, a 7,000-km virtual trek to the West Coast.

Bryan Alary - 10 July 2015

(Edmonton) The first-ever Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Amazing Race challenge wasn't just fiercely competitive, it was downright fabulous.

Team Fab 5-Angela Libutti, Michelle Green, Shelley Richmond, Judy Sara and Vicki Trombley-won the summertime challenge by sweating their way through 1,177 kilometres of walking, slightly more than a one-way trek from Edmonton to Vancouver.

"We all found we were more competitive than we thought," said Fab 5 team captain Sara. "It was a healthy competition-in more ways than one. It was fun, social and obviously has health benefits."

The brainchild of the faculty's health and safety committee, the Amazing Race ran almost the entire month of June and featured eight teams with a total of 40 competitors. Fab 5 crossed the 1,160-km finish line on June 22, followed by team TIGers (1,020 km) and team Movers and Shakers (982 km). The teams combined walked almost 7,000 km.

"The response was amazing! We did not know what to expect as it is summer and many people are on holidays, but our faculty and staff really impressed us!" said co-organizer Katelyn Brown. "It was wonderful to see teams out walking at lunch and doing laps around the building, the friendly competition definitely got people up and moving."

Pounding the pavement

For the members of Fab 5, crossing the finish line first was a result of pushing themselves to incorporate physical activity throughout the day. For some, like Green and Richmond, that meant getting an early start by commuting to work on foot, but as a team they encouraged each other to get moving with lunchtime walks or runs.

That team spirit and the competition itself proved motivating.

"After a long day I didn't always feel like going for a walk, but the race forced me to get out there," said Sara, who did most of her 210 km at lunch and incorporated evening walks into her schedule.

The challenge not only brought the team members closer together, it provided common ground among competitors.

"It was a nice way to keep in touch with people you don't always see throughout the day and makes you really aware of how active you are being on a daily basis," said Richmond.

Officially, the competition is complete, but that isn't stopping Fab 5 and others from keeping up the pace throughout the summer. Plans are already in the works to hold the competition again next year, said Brown, likely with some modifications.

"Next time, we will definitely have to extend the distance, perhaps a cross-Canada tour. There is currently nothing in the works for fall or winter, but you never know, we may put on an Amazing Race 2.0."

Final team results

Fab 5, 1,177 km

TIGers, 1,020 km

Movers and Shakers, 982 km

For Those About to Walk (We Salute You), 977 km

The Walking Dean, 920 km

Rehab Sole Mates, 779 km

Speaking of Movement, 571 km

SpongeBob Slowpants, 323 km