A total of 101 volunteers took turns to help raise awareness for the American Heart Association at the fifth annual 24-hour Treadmill Challenge at Mercy Jefferson.
The most impressive effort was put in by Mercy Home Care physical therapist Mark Stolzer who walked from 9 p.m. on Thursday May 1 until 9 a.m. on Friday, May 2. Mark walked and jogged in the first couple of hours, but developed a blister on his foot, so he only walked during the last 10 hours of his shift.
A member of the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group, Mark is familiar with long-distance activities. On his 50th birthday he walked and ran 50 miles.
“I’m 58 now, so I guess in a couple of years I’ll have to go 60 miles,” Mark said, with enough seriousness in his voice that he probably is planning to do it.
The remaining 100 walkers took turns of 15 minutes to more than an hour on three treadmills beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 1. That same day, Mercy launched its virtual Walk to Dublin, workplace fitness program in conjunction with National Employee Health and Fitness Month. Co-workers are logging miles across the ministry from May 1 through 29, combining their total steps to travel from Laredo, Texas, to Dublin, Ireland, (6,183 miles) as often as possible.
With three treadmills running non-stop for 24 hours, and a fairly conservative estimated pace of 3 mph, the walkers covered 216 miles. The Treadmill Challenge was created to promote heart health awareness and the American Heart Association Heart Walk, which is scheduled for May 10 this year at Busch Stadium.