2021 Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge winners announced / May 20, 2021
Officials from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom announced their 2021 Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge $10,000 award winners: Stanton, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The challenge encourages Iowans and South Dakotans to develop sustainable, healthy habits, highlighted by participation in the annual Grand Blue Mile.
Expanding trails in Stanton
“We are so thankful and excited to be the recipients of the Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge $10,000 award,” said Jenny Gettler, Stanton Trail Committee Chair. “We look forward to putting this award toward continuing our trail expansion project and creating a safe and fun way to promote healthy lifestyles in the Stanton community.
Stanton had the highest percentage of its residents participating in the 2021 virtual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against the community’s total population.
“We had a record number of communities — more than 150 Iowa ZIP codes — represented this year as part of the Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “Since this year’s event was fully virtual, we saw interest in the challenge spread far beyond greater Des Moines, to communities of all sizes. We’re heartened by the way Stanton and so many others rallied their residents to make a positive, long-lasting impact on the health of future generations.”
“The return of the Set the Pace Challenge was met with great excitement, as seen by the incredible number of communities that engaged in our virtual race,” said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “It was great to see thousands of Iowans come together to run their very own Grand Blue Mile and we’re looking forward to setting a new record for community participation in 2022.”
Supporting parks & recreation in Sioux Falls
“Thank you to all the participants for representing Sioux Falls and to Wellmark for this opportunity to build upon our incredible park system,” said Don Kearney, Sioux Falls parks and recreation director. “We are proud and excited to use this award to bring even more benefits to our vibrant and active community.”
Sioux Falls had the highest percentage of its residents participating in the 2021 virtual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against the community’s total population.
“Wellmark has always been passionate about improving the health and well-being of South Dakotans,” said Lori Clausen, president, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota. “That’s why the Grand Blue Mile was created, to encourage sustainable healthy habits and empower positive change. And the all-virtual format of this year’s event afforded us a unique opportunity to share the Grand Blue Mile experience with participants across South Dakota in a meaningful way.”
The 13th Annual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is scheduled for April 26, 2022.