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Healthiest State Initiative partners with Grand Blue Mile again in 2018

The Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) and officials from Grand Blue Mile (GBM) are partnering to encourage Iowa communities to “Set the Pace” again in 2018. The Set the Pace challenge encourages Iowans to develop sustainable, healthy habits throughout 2018 — starting with participating in GBM, the popular one-mile walk/run through Downtown Des Moines on April 24.

As part of the challenge, the community with the highest percentage of its residents participating in GBM — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against its total population — will be awarded $10,000 to use on a project that promotes safe and accessible places in which to be active, such as a park, playground or trail.

“Bringing the Set the Pace challenge back to the 2018 GBM was an easy decision after seeing the inspiring amount of community participation last year,” said GBM Director Chris Verlengia. “Promoting community health is something we’re very passionate about, and we’re eager to partner with HSI again to continue that commitment.”

The 2017 Set the Pace challenge winner, Urbandale, used their award to add new trail enhancements, including a play pod to Walnut Creek Regional Park.

“Receiving this award was such an honor to the City, and we’re proud of all the Urbandale residents who participated in the challenge,” said Jan Herke, Urbandale parks and recreation director. “We’re very grateful this partnership has helped us fund a project that will continue to benefit our community for years to come.”

To watch a video and learn more about the project, click here.

“We are excited for another year of the Set the Pace Challenge,” said Jami Haberl, HSI executive director. “The Grand Blue Mile has something for everyone, and we’re encouraging all Iowans to follow Urbandale’s example and move more by engaging in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.”

Register today
Youth and adult registration for the Grand Blue Mile is now open, with all proceeds supporting school-based wellness programs in association with Iowa Kidstrong and the historic Drake Relays.