WILLIAMSON - Last fall, several counties in West Virginia and Kentucky participated in the Hatfield McCoy, A Healthy Feud: Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days. With the Hatfields and McCoys theme, the program has become widely popular among businesses, schools, hospitals, civic organizations, and people wanting to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
The Mingo County Diabetes Coalition started its first walking program two years ago with the National Lunch Walk Challenge, which encourages hundreds of people to get moving through a competitive walking program every fall. Last spring, they decided to partner with WV on the Move to start the Healthy Feud, and had 1,121 participants with 113 teams. This year, the 15-week program is set to start Monday and ends on Dec. 17.
Pamela Jarrell, the winner of the program last year, said the program was awesome.
“I really enjoyed walking … I want to be a healthier and leaner me,” Jarrell said.
The program encourages participants to stick to a routine that will help them stay active in the long run, with a goal of walking 100 miles in 100 days.
“The program is free, and it is simple and easy,” said Alexis Batausa, a health and wellness promoter at the Diabetes Coalition. “All you have to do is go to mingodiabetes.com/walk, sign up, and then put both feet on the ground and walk.”
This year, as competitors track their miles online, their numbers will be updated in real time and results will be shown on a map of the Appalachian Trail. Additionally, weekly emails will help teams to stay on track and a schedule of events will be posted to encourage those who want to help volunteer at a 5K race or participate for the first time. Finally, this year participants have the chance to pick which side of the feud they want to be on: Hatfield or McCoy.
“People in the program can track their miles with gadgets such as a Fitbit or pedometer, smart phone app, GPS watches or a simple pen or paper. We will be capping the mileage at 70 miles a week for individuals this year,” Batausa said. Pedometers, if needed, are offered at the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition Office.
Also new to the program, the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition and WV on the Move will be providing free T-shirts to those participants in West Virginia and Kentucky who complete the 100 miles.
One participant, Jennie Hatfield, spoke very highly of the program. Hatfield said that in August 2010, when she found out that her 4-year-old son, Zane Christian Hatfield, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, that their “entire family was in a state of shock.”
“As far as we all knew, diabetes was a disease that older, unhealthy people got, right? Boy were we wrong,” Hatfield said. After learning more about Type 1 diabetes and how to keep their son healthy, they started researching ways they could get their family involved in getting healthy.
“Our friends followed suit and that is how ‘Team Zane’ came to be. My son had the biggest team walking last year,” she said. “We had 25 people walk with us in Pikeville last June. So when we heard about the Hatfield/McCoy Healthy Feud Challenge, we jumped at it.”
Hatfield said each member of their team has lost weight and adopted a healthier lifestyle.
“I would really like to thank the Diabetes Coalition for presenting us with the Healthy Feud. We are all the better for it,” she said.
For more information, or to register for the healthy feud, visit mingodiabetes.com/walk. For more information, contact email@example.com or call the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition at 304-235-3400.