After two and a half months on the road, Congressman Mike Simpson will celebrate the success of the Idaho STEP Challenge by holding a team walk in Boise this evening. In partnership with the Saint Alphonsus Health System, Simpson will participate alongside dozens of Meet Me Monday athletes for a walk around downtown Boise. Beginning at 5:15 p.m., the free event will start at Bandanna Running and Walking, located at the intersection of 5th and Main Street. The event is open to the public.
After logging 700 virtual miles, the Idaho STEP Challenge is off to a fast and fun start. With 300 individuals and 27 teams participating, the virtual walk across America has ventured from the nation’s capital, up the eastern seaboard, and into the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. Participants are currently trekking across the state of Indiana.
“When I launched the Idaho STEP Challenge this summer, I wasn’t exactly sure how people would react to the event,” said Simpson. “It’s been thrilling to see so many people join with me on this walk across America, and I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the challenge participants in person during the Meet Me Monday event.”
Meet Me Monday is a free weekly fitness walk and run event held every Monday year-round. Participants sign a participation waiver the first time they attend, and each time after that, they initial their name on a participant roster allowing them to earn athletic gear as they accumulate attendance points. On average, more than 80 people attend the weekly walk as a way to improve their health of mind, body and spirit; spend time with family and friends; and support the community through active engagement.
“Meet Me Monday and Saint Alphonsus are thrilled to have Congressman Simpson join us for our walk today to highlight the Step Challenge, and the tremendous impact we can have on our personal health by just taking a walk each day and tracking our steps,” said Corey Surber, Director of Advocacy at Saint Alphonsus. “We applaud Congressman Simpson for his leadership in promoting physical activity, and using social support and encouragement to keep people engaged.”
Since 2014, Simpson has lost more than 70 pounds using a wearable activity tracker to monitor and record his daily steps. Based on his success, he created the non-partisan, non-political Idaho STEP Challenge to promote health and fitness, and prevent obesity related diseases.
Similar to a virtual race, the challenge allows participants to record their individual miles using their own activity tracker or pedometer and report their progress on Simpson’s website. The 3,000 mile virtual route weaves through several iconic American cities, national parks, and spacious heartlands, and is expected to end on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol Building next summer.