Congratulations to everyone that participated in the IACP 2017 Walking Challenge!
Cumulatively, there were 16,286,751 steps taken in just under 4 days in Philadelphia, PA.
Below is an interview with the top stepper, Jeff (aka Robo)
Jeff, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am the Chief of Police in Hailey, Idaho. I have been in law enforcement since 1990 and a Chief since 2007.
As the top stepper at the IACP 2017 Walking Challenge with 233,441 steps in under 4 days, what motivated you to walk that much at the event?
The contest was self-motivating. You get your tracker and log into the app, then you see everybody else is doing the same thing. It’s self-motivating watching your comrades do the same thing. My goal wasn’t to finish first. It was to finish in the top three.
I kind of had an unfair advantage I must admit. I do not sleep well in hotels. I have a sleeping disorder. Any sound wakes me up. So I would get up and walk in the middle of the night, venturing 10 to 15 miles a night from the hotel I stayed at. Philadelphia was a great place to be in the middle of the night. I would then go back and shower, then fall asleep for an hour. This is how I function. When I heard about the challenge, I felt like I had a leg up.
Some Walking Challenge participants don't see how folks possibly could do that many steps? Were you engaged at the conference? Do you feel you got what you wanted out of the event and accomplished what you had planned to at the conference or did the Walking Challenge distract you from the conference?
No – I was there specifically for the conference. There were specific things I wanted to attend that were going to benefit me and my department. I made sure I achieved those goals plus visit the vendors – all which added to my step totals. It was also an opportunity for me to see Philly which I had never seen before.
There was enough variety at the event that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. There were other people from my group that I met up with to walk. It didn’t distract from the conference at all. There were three of us neck in neck, high steppers. The Walking Challenge, made the conference more fun. You could go and scan during the day. You can tell who is at the conference if they are scanning the QR Codes to win the prizes.
Where did you walk to in Philly?
The Rocky steps. I went past the Liberty theater. I went to the Liberty Philly tower a couple of times. I went out towards the airport and went by the Liberty football field. I am not an Eagles fan; I am a Cowboys fan. However, I wanted to check out the stadium. I took the back roads to get there. That was about 11 miles from my hotel.
Does your job require a lot of walking from day to day?
I walk a lot for my health. I was on the twelfth floor at the hotel and I would not take the elevator. My wife does 100-mile races. She just did one in Phoenix right after I got back from the conference. She always says you got to seize the opportunity to exercise. She is a physical therapist.
How many steps typically do you do a day?
25 to 30k – at the police department we just moved into an old armory building – there is a gym there. I have a loop track I do during lunch. Plus, I work for SkyWest airlines part time – I throw bags at night since I don’t sleep. I do get a lot of steps at the airport terminal going out on the tarmac.
Your overall impressions of the IACP Walking Challenge?
Very positive – it becomes self-motivating just watching the other participants. It was good for me.
I am looking forward to the Walking Challenge next year!