Boston fitness challenge raises $2,500 for Girls on the Run to honor Errol Yudelman.
Over the course of his life, the Boston team’s beloved Errol Yudelman completed a knee-shattering 114 marathons. That’s nearly six million steps, based on an average of 52,150 steps per marathon.
Amazingly, the Boston practice racked up almost that many steps in just a single month of its first-ever fitness challenge. Even more amazing, the team’s nearly five million steps raised $2,500 for one of Yudleman’s favorite charities, Girls on the Run Greater Boston.
“Our idea was to remember Errol in a way that would promote well-being and good health,” said the team’s Jon Whittier, one of the organizers of the fitness challenge. “Errol was passionate about Girls on the Run’s mission to integrate running into a fun curriculum that helps create joyful, healthy and confident young women. In fact, two of Errol’s daughters, Beth and Micaela, are Girls on the Run coaches in other parts of the country. We decided to tie those themes together.”
Whittier, along with Boston practice members Megan Robicheau and Finn Sullivan, also envisioned the fitness challenge to mark the 127th running of the Boston Marathon in April 2023.
The question then became, “How do we turn steps into dollars while making the event open to anyone?”
Based on the recommended daily step output of 10,000 steps a day, Robicheau determined a formula for calculating the donation amount. Then, because not every activity produces steps, Sullivan carefully calculated how other forms of exercise could be converted into steps and tracked all 26 employees’ steps each week throughout the month.
They received an extra boost when Centric announced a company-wide, step-based fitness challenge, which started April 17. Robicheau said they then asked colleagues to contribute their Centric steps to the Boston effort, and they used Centric’s Boston Microsoft Teams channel to promote the project.
“We asked employees to submit their steps each Friday for the week,” Whittier explained. “To encourage competition, we would share the names of the top five steppers at that meeting, and we kept sharing our one message: ‘Keep stepping!’”
And step they did. In addition to walking and running, participants tracked about 10 other activities, from golf and yoga to lacrosse and weightlifting.
All the hard work paid off on May 18, 2023, when the Boston team presented the check for $2,500 at an afterschool session with a local group of girls and coaches, one of Girls on the Run Greater Boston’s 100 teams this spring.
“It costs $250 for one girl to join Girls on the Run for one season,” said Girls on the Run Greater Boston Executive Director Olivia Mathews. “That means Centric’s contribution will allow 10 girls to learn, play and work together as they build their minds and bodies! We are so grateful for Centric’s hard work and commitment to Girls on the Run — and of course, we all loved Errol.”
The Boston team now plans to make their fitness challenge an annual event.
“All of the funds we donated came from Centric, not employees — unless you mean sweat equity!” said Whittier. “I can’t think of a better way to honor our good friend, Errol. We miss him every day.”