It’s a challenge – for health – between City of Rifle, chamber of commerce | PostIndependent.com

It’s a challenge – for health – between City of Rifle, chamber of commerce

Mike McKibbin
Citizen Telegram Editor
From left, Rifle Planner Hannah Klausman, Terri Davis of the city finance department, Deputy City Clerk Kristy Christensen and Events Outreach Coordinator Blair Bracken are all smiles as they leave city hall for an afternoon fitness walk on Monday, Jan. 27. City employees and those at the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce are competing in a fitness and weight loss challenge through the end of March. As of Monday, the 12 city employees participating in the pedometer challenge collectively walked 1,420,602 steps, or roughly 710 miles, since Jan. 13.
Mike McKibbin/Citizen Telegram |

Two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions – to lose weight and get in better physical shape – are behind an ongoing, three-month “challenge” between City of Rifle employees and the small staff at the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce.

A dozen city employees are taking part in a pedometer walking challenge and another dozen are in a weight loss challenge, said City Planner Hannah Klausman, who helped organize the effort with Deputy City Clerk Kristy Christensen under the city’s wellness program.

The challenge with the chamber soon followed, Klausman said.

“I was at a meeting with [chamber President and CEO Frank Ladd] and he mentioned they were doing a weight loss program as well,” she said. “So we decided on a challenge, where the losing team has to serve the winning team a meal.”

Frank and Brenda Ladd, Kelly Diaz, Gina Reece-Long and Kathy Runia are the chamber participants.

Frank Ladd said the chamber’s effort is more individual than the city’s, with each person responsible for doing what they need to do to try to lose weight.

“We all support each other with whatever it is, diet or exercise or whatever,” he added.

For instance, Ladd and his wife live in Battlement Mesa, so have access to the Grand Valley Recreation Center, formerly the Battlement Mesa Activity Center. It features an indoor swimming pool, weights, treadmills and other equipment and physical activities.

“Two of us in the walking group signed up at the [Exclusive Athletic Club, formerly the Rifle Fitness Center], too,” Klausman said.

And both sides of the challenge spend at least a little time scheming to try to sabotage the other’s efforts.

“We talk about sending the chamber some donuts, just to be nice,” Klausman said, tongue-in-cheek.

Each city employee – at least one from every city department, including police and parks and recreation not located at city hall – also paid a $10 entry fee, so first and second place prizes could be purchased and later awarded, Klausman added. The challenge will end on April 1.

So far, the city teams are off to a good start.

“After the first week, we lost 20 pounds,” Klausman said.

The walking team uses the city’s two optional 15-minute breaks to take 20- to 30-minute walks, such as from City Hall on Railroad Avenue, around the Brenden Theatres and Centennial Park, then back to City Hall. As of Monday, Jan. 27, the 12 city employees participating in the pedometer challenge collectively walked 1,420,602 steps, or roughly 710 miles, in the last two weeks, Klausman said.

One of the city employees, Events Outreach Coordinator Blair Bracken, said she walked around 44 miles one day, which included her dance practice time with the ArtilumA Dance Co.

Ladd said the chamber group will have its first weigh in at the end of the week, so they’ll see where they stand.

“It’s just a fun little challenge to help get us into spring,” he added.

“It’s just a fun thing to do that’s good for you,” Klausman said. “And it helps keep you going at work.”


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