Hub City 100 Miler kicks off Saturday
Pounds dropped from his body and a complete reverse from a health decline are the results of Brownsville native Ernie Best’s fitness journey.
Best, 68, will give a boost to his fitness routine as he prepares to undertake the fifth annual Hub City 100 Miler community challenge from Saturday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, April. 22.
“It is exciting. It is a challenge to complete the 100 miles in 100 days,” Best said.
Amy Riley, the recreation coordinator for the City of Hagerstown’s Parks and Recreation Division, said the challenge is meant to encourage people like Best to stay physically active during the winter season.
“They can expect to be motivated over the next 100 days. The goal is to keep people moving in the winter months when it’s really easy to not want to move much because obviously with the weather we’ve been having, it’s freezing outside,” Riley said.
Registration for the challenge is open through Friday, Jan. 26.
With a registration fee of $10 without a T-shirt, after sign-up participants make a commitment to complete 100 miles in 100 days through physical activity.
Likewise, 20 minutes of physical activity a day such as a walk or run will also count as 1-mile, too.
Companies might participate in the challenge, giving their employees a way to incorporate the challenge into their wellness program.
Participants will receive weekly e-casts that offer motivational tips, ways to get their miles in, recipes, and health and fitness advice.
Fellow 100-milers can get their miles in together as their will be scheduled meetups at places such as the Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex and Starland Roller Rink.
“You can choose every day to walk your mile, jog your mile, hike, or we count anything that you do for 20 minutes continuously and any physical activity like a fitness class, a home video, or shoveling your neighbor’s driveway,” Riley said.
The official kick-off for the challenge will be 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Fairgrounds Park.
Health and fitness vendors will be in attendance for individuals interested in a free blood pressure screening, a body analysis, and a meet and greet with a trainer and a nutritionist.
At 2 p.m. 100-milers will gather to walk their first official mile around Fairgrounds Park together as a group.
A door-prize giveaway will take place after the 1-mile walk.
All participants of the challenge are responsible for recording and keeping track of their miles and can do so in different ways.
One option to track miles is to download the paper form from the city of Hagerstown’s website.
Other choices are to track miles online or through the Challenge Runner app that takes the miles from any type of fitness device —such as a Fitbit— and automatically tracks the miles.
Everyone who is registered for the 100 miler is automatically eligible to win a weekly prize or the grand prize at the end of the program.
However, the selected prize winner will have to bring his or her tracking form to show proof of miles tracked.
“I think it brings the community together. I think it offers something for every fitness level. It’s something beginners can do, it’s something a more seasoned runner can do because we do have folks that actually challenge their self to do more than 100 miles,” Riley said.
For Best as a first-time participant, the challenge is a continuation of the hard works he’s put in to combat his previous health crisis.
Five years ago, he was overweight, and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and was prescribed several different medications.
Afterward, he changed his diet and implemented a workout plan that includes working out three times a week at a gym, lifting weights and riding his bike in the summer.
“I don’t how many different medications I was on, but I was on a lot of them, but I’ve come down way down since then,” Best said.
He stated that he’s “always been very competitive” and noted that his competitiveness trait will be tested as he will need to have his pacemaker replaced during the challenge.
“I went to my cardiologist a couple of weeks ago and they said your blood work is the best it’s been since 25 years ago,” Best said.
With a starting weight of 230 pounds, Best has lost 60 pounds and now weighs 170.
“I feel great,” Best said.
Last year, 1,400 people signed up for the 100 Miler Challenge, which exceeded the city’s Parks and Recreation Division goal, according to Riley.
She said that this year’s goal is to attract 1,500 people to sign up.
“We plan to continue the 100 miler for many years to come. We hope to grow participation as far as members of the community to participate,” Riley said.