Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday completed the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge with a 12.5 mile hike on the Katy Trail. The Governor and First Lady have both completed the Challenge and are encouraging Missourians to join them as they continue to log miles as part of this initiative to promote physical fitness and the outdoors.
Participation in the Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge continues to surge with involvement from private employers, non-profit organizations, fitness groups and health advocates. Since the June 1st launch, more than 5,700 Missourians have walked, run, biked, paddled and rolled more than 240,000 miles on Missouri's greenways and blueways. In fact, more than 700 Missourians have already completed the Challenge, with many continuing to log miles independently and as groups using the new function on the 100MissouriMiles.com site.
"The response to this initiative has been overwhelming, with more than 5,700 Missourians completing more than 240,000 miles in the first seven weeks alone," Gov. Nixon said. "The First Lady and I are proud to join the hundreds of Missourians who have completed the Challenge and who continue to log miles on Missouri's award-winning trails system. With thousands of miles of outstanding trails to explore and more Missourians joining each day, we look forward to achieving our 1 million mile goal later this year."
Missouri was recently named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting our nation's hiking, biking and riding trails. The award recognized efforts by federal, state and local agencies as well as private organizations to expand and improve Missouri's comprehensive recreational trail system, which offers trails for a wide range of interests and abilities, including hikers, backpackers, cyclists, paddlers and equestrians.
To celebrate this distinction and promote Missouri's outstanding trails system and the health benefits of physical activity, the Governor and First Lady launched the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge, inviting Missourians to complete 100 miles of outdoor physical activity by the end of the year. Since the official launch of the initiative on June 1, 5,700 participants have run, walked, biked, paddled and rolled more than 240,000 miles, including 114 miles by the Governor. The First Lady, who completed the Challenge on July 13, has logged 123 miles.
Missouri State Parks offers almost 1,000 miles of managed trails and the state claims more than 500 miles of National Recreation Trails designated by the U.S. Department of Interior. Notable trails include the Lewis and Clark, Trail of Tears, Santa Fe National Historic Trails, and the Katy Trail, the longest developed rail-trail in the nation.
Missouri State Parks was also named recently as a top-four finalist for the 2013 National Gold Medal Awards. The Gold Medal Awards program honors communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning and program development. This recognition is a reflection of the state's dedication to protecting and preserving Missouri's natural resources.
The Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge is a partnership with the Missouri State Parks, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Division of Tourism. For more information and to take the Challenge, visit MO.gov. Participants can also share adventures, post photos and learn about upcoming events by connecting with 100 Missouri Miles on Facebook and Twitter.
To take the Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge, visit www.mo.gov.