These charts at the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre allow participants of the Step It Up Challenge to record their total steps. The generation who records the most steps by the end of the month is the winner. (Adam Louis/Observer)

CELEBRATE 125: District of Kent fitness challenge strides on

Five generations, 230 walkers compete for the most steps

It’s a competition for the generations.

The Step It Up Fitness Challenge has already created a lot of buzz with 230 participants of all ages throughout the District of Kent – and it’s not over yet.

Now a well-established and accessible challenge for fitness enthusiasts of all walks of life, the Step It Up Fitness Challenge has a new twist to help celebrate the district’s 125th anniversary.

“We’ve been doing [the Fitness Challenge] for a quite a few years,” said Jennifer Thornton, the district’s director of community services and projects. “This year, it’s a battle of the generations.”

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Five generations – from the Silent Generation to Generation Z – compete for big prizes to walk or run the most steps by the end of February. There are 230 participants this year, being a part of the challenge since the beginning of the month.

Thornton added the district has connected with a number of local schools to allow classes to get in on the action.

Upon registration, participants get a form to track their steps throughout the week as well as a free pedometer to wear on their waist or belt. At the end of the week, the participants record their steps with the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre (CRCC). The CRCC has a set of charts, one for every generation, on display so participants can track how their generation is doing.

As of press time, the Boomers and Generation Z have the most participants on their teams with Generation Z ahead by just a few members.

Becci Corder of the CRCC said the competition among all the generations is fierce. As of the end of January, some of the top walkers have reached into the tens and hundreds of thousands of steps every week with one of the top walkers racing through upward of 200,000 steps in a week.

RELATED: Recreation Centre explodes with activity

Sam, a member of the Silent Generation, regularly goes to the CRCC before breakfast and records 5,000 steps before his day even begins.

Corder said the response from the community for Step It Up has been impressive.

“We ran out of pedometers,” she said. “I had no idea we would run out!” A second shipment of pedometers – each in bright green with the District of Ken and Step It Up logos on them – arrived on Friday.

Corder said her family is caught up in the competitive spirit with her husband, her kids and herself all on separate teams.

The prizes for the winners come from local businesses. They are:

Shoreline Tours – Two waterfall cruise adult gift certificates

Fraser River Lodge – One night stay with breakfast for two

Harrison Hot Springs Resort – One night (weekday) stay with breakfast for two

Sasquatch Inn – One night stay with a $25 gift certificate

Harrison Water Sports – Two water park passes

In addition to the obvious health benefits from so much extra activity throughout the remainder of the challenge, Corder said the bonds between competitors and the community get stronger as well.

“We’re all moving and working together,” she said. “Anything that brings the community together like this is so heartwarming.”

There is still time to register for the event – registration does not close until the Feb. 28. To sign up, go the the CRCC at 6660 Pioneer Ave. to pick up a step-tracking ballot and pedometer. For more information, call the CRCC at 604-796-8891.

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