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From 01 June 2021 to 31 May 2022, for one entire year, during the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, and the hot and dusty dog days of summer days …to the frigid, bitter, bitter, bitter, prolonged winter months … sixteen members of Region 6 trekked the circumference of our Region… and then some. Why? Because the challenge was there! IT WAS TIME to rise off of our couches, dust off our sneakers (if we could find them…), put something on other than sweats, grease up the ole muscles and MOVE our bodies!

IPA Region 6 had created a Fitness Challenge to motivate regional members to keep physically active during our prolonged COVID-19 restrictions. We walked, hiked, ran, rowed, paddled, swam, biked, snow-shoed, and skied, etc the circumference of our region which is approximately 719 kms.

In total, all 16 members combined accumulated 24,218 kilometers! This distance is equivalent to more than half of the world’s circumference of 40,075 kms. We would have been able to trek over to London, England for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, continued onwards to China and hiked the Great Wall, and carried over to Australia to swim with the great white sharks.

Brian Sullivan was our top contender, busting his body to give it his all and come from behind Bill Murrell with a whopping 1,033 km bike-a-thon in May to snag the coveted First Place Bragging Rights. Residing year-long in Equator, Brian continuously biked his way into our history books with a staggering total of 3,177 kms.

Bill Murrell slugged it out within our region, mainly rowing, biking and walking his way to an impressive 2,836kms, four times over our Regional circumference! The Man! The Legend! The Machine! A side note to add is Bill is not that young, being a bit on the mature slope, yet still blew past everyone else. I owe Bill a lunch, having been bold enough to think I would be able to beat him… Bill clocked 1,000 kms more than I did. Although I manage to trek 1,805 kms, I will not hang my head in shame, but must dig out my wallet and hope he is not too hungry during one of our summer Regional brunches.

Louis Chiasson came in 3rd place with a total of 2,438 kms. Louis was the first one to complete the Regional circumference within a two month period. Gilbert Anctil was in 4th place with 2,408 kms. Congratulations to your hard work and dedication to keeping fit! Very impressive results!

Padre Bill never gave up the challenge after undergoing knee surgery and undergoing a house move. June, his wife, literally ran circles around him, being our top female contender with an impressive 2,295 kms. Hats off to both of you! Some other regional members continued on during chemotherapy treatment. TOTAL RESPECT!


Overall, all participants have a lot to be proud of! After completing the regional circumference most decided to keep going to actually determine just how far they do trek during the course of one year. Amazing results if you ask me. The overall benefits to our bodies to keep going as we grow older and stiffen up is huge.

As all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the challenge, we decided to carry on and do another Region 6 Fitness Challenge. This will begin on 01 September 2022. The challenge is to trek the 719 km circumference individually, and… trek the circumference of the world, 40,075 kms in total as a team. We surpassed the halfway point this first year, which means we will require more participants for 2022-2023. Relax and enjoy your summer and get geared up for our next Challenge. Look forward to watching the results come in.

Teresa Holmes

Region 6 Secretary

OPI Fitness Challenge

Old Globe


Some of the pictures that were sent in by participants and their four-legged companions

Brian Sullivam.jpg
Bicycle Route.jpg
Bill 2nd Place.jpg
Bill Dog 1.jpg
Bill Dog 2.jpg
Len Dog.jpg
Doug Morris.jpg
Jim Grant.jpg
Sussex Falls.jpg
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