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The Vinton Chiropractic Center team during the Bring the Noise 5K

A year ago, Vinton Chiropractic Center staff set a goal: complete a 5K every month of 2013. They challenged their patients and the public in general to join them for one (or more) of those races – offering training programs, encouragement, and goody bags to anyone willing to toe the starting line.

On Sunday December 8, it became mission accomplished! The Tour de Lights 5K in Vinton marked the final race for the VCC crew in 2013 – their twelfth official race of the year.

And what a year it’s been! They ran in freezing temperatures and high humidity. They ran in sunshine and rain. They ran in high heat and falling snow. Yet it always seemed that race day was optimal weather when compared with the days surrounding it. “There were a lot of months that race day was sunny and beautiful (even if it was cold) and the next day was a torrential downpour or incredibly windy or blowing snow,” said Malea Lee, a VCC staff member who individually completed a 5K every month. “Race day just always seemed to turn out great for us!”

For example, the April race was held at City Park in Iowa City on April 13. By April 20th, City Park was under three feet of water from the flooded Iowa River. Time and time again, timing with the weather just worked out.

Here’s the rundown on the year’s schedule:

January 26 – Amana Freezer Run 5K (Amana)

February 16 – Red Flannel 5 Mile Run (Des Moines)

March 23 – We Run 5K (North Liberty)

April 13 – Joggin’ For Your Noggin 5K (Iowa City)

May 18 – Marion Arts Festival 5K (Marion)

June 28 – Party in Pink 5K (Vinton)

July 4 – Firecracker 5K (Dysart)

August 24 – Bring the Noise 5K (Vinton)

September 21 – Flaughless 5K (Vinton)

October 5 – Stomp Out Hunger 5K Trail Race (Roger’s Park, Vinton)

November 16 – Return of the Turkey Trot 8K (Marion)

December 8 – Tour de Lights 5K (Vinton)

What started as a simple, “wouldn’t it be great if…”-kind of goal, has grown to far exceed anyone’s expectations.

“We didn’t really know what to expect. We just thought it would be fun to do ourselves, and to maybe try to get a few others to join us,” recalls Lee. The one year challenge created runners and walkers out of people who never considered attempting such a feat.

Dan McKenna is one such person. He started walking, then gradually added running a bit more each day until he’d worked up to running several miles. His first 5K was the Flaughless 5K in September – and he was the fastest VCC runner to cross the finish line! Since September, Dan has run 2 more 5K’s with the Vinton Chiropractic group, and plans to keep going! Not only has Dan lost well over 50 pounds since starting to run, he’s really gotten into some of the “festivities” that encompass race day – there are jumping pictures and photos of him dressed as “Cousin Eddy” from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to prove it!

Perhaps the best “people watching” opportunities came at February’s Red Flannel Run in Des Moines. Runners donned their best red flannel attire and ran either 3 or 5 miles (VCC reps did 5 miles) around downtown Des Moines. “There were tutus, feather boas, and neon spandex everywhere!” said Ashley Hesson, another VCC staff member who completed a 5K each month. “One jolly gentleman ran 5 miles in a red full-body onesie! Five miles doesn’t seem so long when you have such good entertainment all around you!” The VCC group also recalls seeing “Rose” at 2 different winter races. “Rose” was actually a young man name Ross, who unfortunately had his name mispronounced during award ceremonies. “Rose” always stood out in the crowd because he ran wearing only running shoes and a pair of shorts…in January.

There were certainly frustrations and joys throughout the year – injuries nagged but also personal best times were achieved. But in the end, the major goal was certainly accomplished.

“People started thinking about their health and wellness, and what they could do to improve it,” said Dr. Rex Christy. “And when people asked where they should start, we had a structured program to help get them going.”

That was the ultimate goal in the whole challenge: get people motivated to be active and push them to accomplish something they didn’t think possible. And that definitely happened: 20 individuals completed their first ever 5K because of VCC’s challenge. Below is the complete stat sheet:

Unique participants: 36 (including every staff member of Vinton Chiropractic Center)

Total races completed: 103

Miles raced: 330.7

Miles raced in a wagon: 3.1

Medals won: 27

Door prizes won: 8

Pounds lost: 206 (at least that are willingly admitted)

“Causes” supported: 12 (Brain Injury Alliance, Wounded Warrior, World Hunger, Vinton-Shellsburg Track & Cross Country teams, various scholarships, and more)

Not impressed? Think about this for comparison…that’s racing across the entire state of Iowa (which is 310 miles wide), losing more pounds than the average American male weighs (which is 194 pounds), and winning more medals than Czechoslovakia has ever taken home from any of the Olympics combined (which is 25 medals).

If you’d like to see more details and photos from the races done by the Vinton Chiropractic Center crew, check out their website or their business page on Facebook.

Plans for next year are still in the works – but there are plans! Currently, a team (to be “manned” by several Vinton Chiropractic staffers, and hopefully some others too) is registered for the “Market to Market Relay” that runs a continuous relay race from Jefferson to Des Moines: 75 miles total. Possibilities abound for 2014!

Everyone learned a big lesson in 2013: the human body (any human body) can accomplish great things when one puts their mind to it. So make a goal, get up, and get after it!

If you’re interested in joining us for a race, or just looking for a place to start, stop in our office and pick up an information packet. We’ll keep posting details on our website and Facebook page as plans progress!

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Comments (1)

This was a great healthy promotion!!
Congratulations to Rex Christy and the entire staff for their dedication and commitment to good health.
By: Jon Clingman on January 10th 9:42am

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