A step in the right direction 

16/08/2012 00:00 

Following weeks of intense competition, dogged determination, millions of steps – and aching, sweaty feet – we are proud to announce the winners of the UCLH Olympic Challenge…

Striding forth in first place: Step in the Right Direction also known as PAs Amy Gooding, Nicola Dimech, Janice Haggarty and clinical nurse specialist Dorcas McAsey. The Heart Hospital cardiothoracic team clicked up an amazing 3.3 million steps during the six week challenge. Their final score was 3,333,759.

The winners stepped up to the challenge by walking miles and miles to work, ditching the lift and taking the stairs, and abandoning lunch breaks at their desks for walks around the block.

But Dorcas – a keen sportswoman in her youth – took it one step further: Spurred on by the thought of the 2012 Olympic Games she walked to and from work to her home in Friern Barnet each morning and evening. The 16-mile journey added hours to her working day. Her personal daily best was an eye-watering 58,000 steps.

She said: “I feel I have won a marathon – I was really focused on winning and nothing else. We all started off lightly but improved as the days went on. I started walking via Kings Cross, Islington, Highgate to Friern Barnet – and some nights I didn’t get home until around 9pm and would leave home at 6am the next morning. I kept going. I thought of Captain Scott in the Anctarctic in rather harsher conditions. I can do this!’ It was so much nicer than taking the tube and the people you meet whilst walking seem much friendlier!”

Her team mate Amy, who walked an extra one and a half hours to and from work, said: "We kept a close eye on our nearest competitors and we were determined to beat them! It was great fun and generally we all feel a lot fitter, not so out-of-breath. I do feel a bit worn out though now!”

The team are keen to stress they were very fit before starting the challenge. Safety should be your primary concern – never overdo exercise or risk injury!

Following closely behind, in second place: Naruto’s Will aka Marie Korsak, Olanike Famurewa, Neerav Dahya, and David Adams from referrals at the Eastman Dental Hospital with a commendable score of 3,114,611.

In third place: Harrogate Here We Come from oncology and haematology, pharmacy, nutrition and dietetics. Kassie Montanheiro, Ellie Ripley, Rupert Allen, and Rachel Allen recorded 2,968,508 steps.

The prizes – provided by the 52 Club and UCLH Charity – will be presented next week.

84 out of the 128 competing teams hit the target: with team members each averaging more than 10,000 steps a day. As well as being game for a challenge, entrants also showed they were game for a laugh. Team names included the Sarcoma Chicks, Blister Sisters, Holy Walkamolies, Rapid Thigh Movements, Unfit and Ugly and Two Steps Behind!

Sue Parker, Housing Services Manager and organiser of the UCLH Olympic Challenge, said: “I have this to say to everyone who took part – you were magnificent!!

“As well as marking the 2012 Olympics, we wanted the Pedometer Challenge to be a health legacy for the future – to encourage as many staff as possible to incorporate fitness into their lives, each and every day. This just goes to show you don’t need to be a marathon runner to increase your levels of fitness – walking at least 10,000 steps a day can make a real difference to your health, fitness and well being.

“Our next challenge starts in October and this time we are want it to be even bigger and better with 250 teams – 1,000 staff – taking part.”



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