Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the first Mile Tracker Board for the Idaho STEP Challenge where he is virtually walking from Washington, D.C. Currently Simpson’s virtual location en route is 98 miles and is just outside of Westminster, MD.
Westminster is home to the Bear Branch Nature Center and the Hashawha Environmental Center that feature several interactive exhibits on local plants and animals, a youth environmental education center, and more than five miles of multi-use hiking and running trails spread across 320 acres.
The Idaho STEP Challenge was created by Simpson as a way to encourage residents to get fit and healthy using data captured on a wearable activity tracker or pedometer. Individuals wishing to participate can still register on Simpson’s website, and then keep pace with the Congressman while he walks across America. The challenge is expected to last approximately 14 months, and cover nearly 3,000 miles.
Simpson has lost nearly 70 pounds using an activity tracker to monitor his daily steps. “I am thrilled so many people have agreed to join the Idaho STEP Challenge,” said Simpson. “I have been approached by dozens of individuals who have shared their stories with me and I can’t wait to see how many of us complete this goal.”
Similar to a virtual race, residents can participate using their own activity tracker or pedometer to track the steps they accumulate through regular fitness or exercise routines. Each participant will report their weekly progress on Simpson’s website. The route begins at the U.S. Capitol Building, and takes participants through several iconic American cities, national parks, and spacious heartlands, eventually ending on the steps of the Idaho State Capital Building. So far, more than 380 people have signed up with over 200 reporting their total miles walked since June 1st.
Frequent challenge updates, fun facts about the towns and cities along the route, links to healthy recipes, tips on getting in your weekly steps, and other information will be posted to Simpson’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and labeled with a #hikewithMike hashtag.
Constituents that complete the challenge will be invited to meet Simpson in Boise, Idaho next year for a walk and healthy reception. Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in recognition of their achievement.
The Idaho STEP Challenge is a non-partisan, non-political interactive event open to the public.