Residents ply 44,000 kms

LISMORE — District 1 residents celebrated on Sunday after combining to complete more than 44,000 kilometres during their 2016-17 Winter Fitness Challenge.

Mitchell MacDonald, who grew up in Ardness and was one of the captains of teams encouraged to take part and accumulate the kilometres, added the red paper onto the event’s barometer to indicate the 44,048 kms recorded this season.

“I think it’s a great community event,” he said. “I’m able to captain my team members and motivate them. It’s a lot of fun.”

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Sheldon Stright of Lismore completed the most equivalent distance, a total of 2,360 kms.

“I do it mostly on my (stationary) bike and I do a little curling,” he said.

Ardness resident Don Butler, another captain, pedalled five miles twice a day to do his part.

“After the second five miles I’m done,” he said.

The group’s goal when the challenge began last fall was to total 40,000 kms. That is the distance from St. John’s, N.L., to Victoria, B.C. and back to Charlottetown, PEI. It was the group’s way of celebrating 150 years of Canada’s Confederation.

It was the first year since the project was founded in 2010 that the team did not increase its total from the previous year. The group totalled 45,180 kms in 2015-16, which was well beyond the goal set for 32,000 kms.

Members of each team log each hour of activity to equal two kilometres distance while taking part in activities that include sports, rug hooking, art classes and knitting. Those who walked, jogged or ran recorded the distances they travelled.

For aerobic activities — such as yoga, swimming, basketball and hockey — one hour equalled five kms.

The challenge became established after its first season that coincided with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and over the years has encompassed the entire district.

It’s considered a way to stay active and get the best out of winter.


Residents gathered at the Lismore Hall last Sunday for the official close of the District 1 Fitness Challenge for 2016-17. From the left, front row: Christene MacDougall, Doreen Stright, Sheldon Stright, Mitchell MacDonald, Faye Kinney and Eileen MacKinnon. Back row: Karen LeBlanc, Don Butler, Jean Anderson, Carolyn McKay, Jean Rockey, Joan MacGillivray, Mary Fraser, Tim Houston, Heather Stewart, Lionel Butler, Gordie MacKinnon, Elaine Delaney and Gerard Delaney. (Goodwin photo)

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Steve Goodwin
Steve Goodwin was born in Amherst, N.S. and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He has been a resident of Pictou County for nearly 40 years.