Walks teach Ravens, Eagles paths to fitness

Mixed Tribe wins third in series of walking contests

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2001

The results are in from the third annual Eagles vs. Ravens Walk Contest, and the winner is the Mixed Tribe team led by Sarah Paddock.

The physical fitness contest began May 15 and concluded July 31, said coordinator Andrea Ebona-Michael of the sponsoring Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's health promotion division.

"We worked very hard - and we're still walking. It made us more conscious of our choices in life," Paddock, 54, said.

"It rains here quite a bit, but exercise gave me more of a positive outlook. When I get out and walk, it changes my whole perspective. I get my head up and look at the mountains and how beautiful it is. It's very uplifting," she said.

"One of my twin sons lost 26 pounds, down from a size 36 to a 34 pants. My pants that were once tight were loose again," Tom Paddock, 56, said. "Everybody should walk more. I had a heart attack five or six years ago, and this is a plus for me."

Forty-two teams of 10 people started, but "it got hard near the end there," Ebona-Michael said, and only 35 finished. In second place were the Kiksadi Ravens led by George F. Williams. Third place went to the SEARHC canoe team led by Katie Day, which exercised its muscles on Twin Lakes rather than bike trails or sidewalks.

Raven teams earned 16,754 points, and Eagle teams 16,656. A point is earned for every 30 minutes of physical activity.

The contest seems to be gaining momentum year by year, Ebona-Michael said.

"I could see more people out there doing more activities at the racquet clubs, canoeing and walking," she said. "We have had more walkers reporting good health benefits."

Williams said he will continue with regular swimming, walking and yard work. Ebona-Michael added yoga to her exercise program.

Awards will be handed out Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. at a picnic at Sandy Beach. Barbecued salmon will be served, and there will be door prizes.

Special awards were added for 2001. The Most Valuable Player award went to Williams because "nobody could keep up with him" for "earning points for himself and his team endlessly," said Ebona-Michael. A second MVP award went to Vivian Kokotovich, who coordinated two teams, for "never complaining" and for "showing enthusiasm at all times."

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.

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