Wildcats on the Move walking challenge to continue as COVID-19 restrictions lift

Mariana Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and more of the U.S. population becomes vaccinated, the Wildcats on the Move walking challenge offers staff and students a safe way to get some steps in as the U.S. slowly shifts back to normal. The challenge, which started as a staff-only event, has evolved to a student-focused event in the past three years.

Students, including those not based in Ellensburg, and staff can register for this event on the Recreation Center portal under special events until April 21. The challenge will begin on April 19 and will last for six weeks until May 28. Signing up for the challenge is free and all students are provided with a CWU pedometer they get to keep after the challenge is over. 

The pedometers will be available for pickup at the Recreation Center at the start of the challenge. Students who cannot pick up their pedometers may use their own or track their steps on any smartphone app.

Students are allowed to participate in the challenge alone or in groups of two or three. Participants will record their steps online for the challenge and receive updates on who is in the lead.

When signing up, participants will have to choose a category to compete in. The Iris category is for students walking 70,000 steps a week. The Sunflower category is for students walking 70,000-85,000 steps a week. The Orchid category is for students walking 85,000-100,000 steps a week.

The winners of each category will win prizes that may be picked up at the Recreation Center or mailed to off-campus winners. There will also be prizes given during the event for special challenges. 

Intramural Sports and Special Events Coordinator Shana Kessler encouraged participating students to be mindful of their surroundings and wear bright colors when walking early or late in the day. 

The challenge comes at a time when most students are emerging from lifting restrictions. 

“It’s a super fun and easy way to do something with your friends,” Kessler said.

Based on previous years the expected turnout for the Wildcats on the Move Walking Challenge is 150 participants.