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Mayor's Fitness Challenge Ends With a Bang

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
09:44AM / Saturday, July 12, 2014
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Amanda Chilson, left, holds up the plaque with the winners of the first Mayor's Fitness Challenge. The winners were announced during the Eagle Street Beach event on Friday; for photos of that event, click here.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The winners of the Mayors Fitness Challenged were announced at the Eagle Street Beach Party on Friday evening.

Mass in Motion Project Coordinator Amanda Chilson thanked the participants of the challenge the challenge and told them it was a “huge success” and that she was “proud of the city of North Adams.”  

“Because of this challenge, more water and less soda was drank, more vegetables and fruits were consumed, some weight loss goals were met, people were trying new forms of physical activity ... and there was 600-plus people making North Adams a healthier place to live, work, and play,” Chilson said.

People signed up for the challenge in teams or individually in May and for 10 weeks they received points for the fruits and vegetables they consumed, the amount of water they drank, and physical activity they engaged in.

Mayor Richard Alcombright led the challenge participants in weekly hikes through the Windsor Lake trails. The mayor thanked all the participants and urged them to maintain their healthy lifestyles even though the challenge is over.

“We have had some wonderful results; this is the first challenge not for fitness but wellness and it has been hugely successful,” Alcombright said. “While we are winding down this challenge, let’s all remember that it is not a 10-week effort. Changing habits is long-term commitment toward a healthy lifestyle.”

Participants addressed the crowd and told their success stories. Marcia Ray said she lost 15 pounds and although she has been running since the 70’s, she had not kept up with it and was out of shape.

“When my daughters asked me to go on hike for Mother’s Day, I realized how out of shape I really was, so the fitness challenge came at a good time,” Ray said.

She added that her husband Larry had the greatest success. She said he had heart surgery right when the challenge started and it helped him through recovery. She said he is a diabetic and lost 21 pounds and had his insulin decreased.

“It had never decreased, it has always increased; his doctors were astounded,” she said. “For the first time two weeks ago, he had a normal reading, and I am very very proud of him.”

The winner of the team challenge were the Super Bad Berkshire Chicks. Their average score was 1,629. The team consisted of Beth Piantoni, Katherine Lovett, Martha Tanner, Allyse Wiencek, Lindsey Neahawk and Debby Cohen.

The overall individual winner was Enid Shields with 1,310.

Debby Cohen had the highest amount of points in the entire challenge with 2,530 points.

The winners’ names will be posted on a plaque in City Hall.  

Chilson said the challenge will return next year possibly in smaller bites. She said she would like to have smaller challenges during the holidays and during spring.

“We might do it a little bit differently, but we will surprise everyone,” she said.

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