Get moving, Tucson. That's what Mayor Jonathan Roths- child wants us to do.
Back in January, at the Beyond event to memorialize the tragic shootings of Jan. 8, 2011, the mayor announced his goal to make Tucson the healthiest city in the nation. He kick-started this initiative by asking Tucsonans to join him in doing the easiest and cheapest form of public health: walk or jog, just a few minutes at a time.
Thus the Walk 100 Miles With the Mayor challenge was born.
And, sure enough, Tucson has responded.
As of this writing, 868 people have signed up on the mayor's website to log their miles. All total, more than 35,000 miles have been covered, with 131 people logging at least 100 miles, and 20 children formally logged in.
How does it work? Go to mayorrothschild.com/walk and follow the links to sign in. Once you sign in, you can add up the miles that you have walked or the miles that you have jogged.
If you have not yet logged in to the mayor's website, it's OK - you can retroactively log the miles you've moved this year. Big Brother is not monitoring you to ensure that you have actually done what you say - you're on the honor system to enter your miles.
So if you've run or walked at all between Jan. 1 and now, go to the site and let the Mayor's Office know.
Sounds good, you might say, but what do I get out of it? Well, aside from losing weight, lowering blood pressure and the other good things that come from daily exercise, you can get some cool stuff.
Those who complete the 100 miles by June 1 will receive a special Mayor's Award at a public ceremony at the TMC Meet Me Downtown 5K Night Run, hosted at the Children's Museum Tucson.
In addition, each youth under 18 who has logged 100 miles will receive a commemorative medallion designed especially for the 100-Mile Challenge.
Finally, youths under 18 who complete the free One Mile Walk or Run at the TMC Meet Me Downtown event will receive a Ben's Bells Kindness Coin, commemorating their achievement.
For example, Diane Manzini and Tia Accetta (yep, she's my wife), members of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, have volunteered with elementary schools in the Tucson Unified School District, adding up the total mileage run or walked by the children during lunch breaks. At the end of the school year, the mileage will be submitted in the name of the school, rather than the individual student, and all the children who complete the free mile walk at Meet Me Downtown will receive their Kindness Coin and medallion.
As you can see, it's pretty easy to get some credit for exercising. Go to mayorrothschild.com to sign up, and "get moving, Tucson!"
Randy Accetta is a past president of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. He is the director for several races, including the TMC Meet Me Downtown 5K Night Run on June 1. Accetta teaches at the University of Arizona and is the national director of coaching education for the Road Runners Club of America.