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Sweating, Groaning and Learning During Health and Fitness Week

By Eddy Ball
June 2008

When the magnolias start to blossom in Central North Carolina, it's a sure sign that the annual NIEHS Health and Fitness week isn't far away. Like the rising sap in the deciduous trees on campus, the energy level of NIEHS employees and contractors takes a leap forward as the more sedentary winter and early spring months come to a close. Each year the NIEHS Office of Management Health and Fitness Organizing Committee promotes a full schedule of opportunities for fun and self-improvement that offers something for virtually everyone.

This year's Health and Fitness Week, May 19 - 23, was no exception as the days were filled with challenges to lose extra weight, get involved in the Fitness Room and other exercise venues on campus, and compete against friends and colleagues. The sports contests include competitions in basketball, football, cycling (see related Inside story), golf, the "Rogathon" 5K Run and 2 Mile Nature Walk, and table tennis.

Although the week began with unseasonably cool temperatures, by the time the more rigorous mid-week competitions began in earnest, athletes were perspiring as they tackled the Rogathon and the 3 on 3 Basketball Round Robin. Throughout the week, table tennis players could be heard grunting as they scored - or missed - their precious points and Frank Chao and Jianjun Gao battled their way to win the tournament. With seminars promoting healthy lifestyles and weight loss, free chair massages and a Wii Interactive Fitness demonstration and activity, participants also had a chance to learn new ways to foster their physical and emotional health and well-being.

Hoots from the stands failed to stop female shoot-out third-place winner Xiao-Ping Yang, left, first-place winner Stephanie Bullock-Allen, center, and second-place winner A'tondra Carree.
Hoots from the stands failed to stop female shoot-out third-place winner Xiao-Ping Yang, left, first-place winner Stephanie Bullock-Allen, center, and second-place winner A'tondra Carree. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
When the laughter and good-natured banter died down, second-place winner A. G. Carrington, left, first-place winner Joe Hunter, center, and third-place winner Anthony Lockhart posed for a photo. Hunter outshot Carrington by one point, ending Carrington's six-year winning streak.
When the laughter and good-natured banter died down, second-place winner A. G. Carrington, left, first-place winner Joe Hunter, center, and third-place winner Anthony Lockhart posed for a photo. Hunter outshot Carrington by one point, ending Carrington's six-year winning streak. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
The reigning champs for the past four years pose after their come-from-behind title defense. Pictured, left to right, are Eric Potts, Gordon Caviness and A. G. Carrington.
The reigning champs for the past four years pose after their come-from-behind title defense. Pictured, left to right, are Eric Potts, Gordon Caviness and A. G. Carrington. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Charles Alden (25:35), left, shown with Marc Hollander won in the 60+ category with a better time than 20 other competitors. Few were surprised that Liam O'Fallon (17:52) finished as the Overall Winner again this year.
Charles Alden (25:35), left, shown with Marc Hollander won in the 60+ category with a better time than 20 other competitors. Few were surprised that Liam O'Fallon (17:52) finished as the Overall Winner again this year. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Back on the court May 21, the 3 on 3 Basketball Round Robin was the scene of some dramatic hoops action. Gordon Caviness rises above the other team's guard to attempt a shot.
Back on the court May 21, the 3 on 3 Basketball Round Robin was the scene of some dramatic hoops action. Gordon Caviness rises above the other team's guard to attempt a shot. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
With Baby Jogger winner Amanda Mueller (22:51) close on her heels, 1st Place Female winner Min Shi (22:48) raced toward the finish line.
With Baby Jogger winner Amanda Mueller (22:51) close on her heels, 1st Place Female winner Min Shi (22:48) raced toward the finish line. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)


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