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DOE/NNSA lab staff go the extra mile for physical fitness

DOE Mile participants run it out at Sandia California.

Hundreds of team members from the national laboratories of the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) competed in a virtual, mile-long race last week to promote physical fitness.

The third annual DOE Mile is a friendly competition among DOE and NNSA national labs. “Winners” are selected bas on number of participants as well as race times.

The friendly race encourages physical fitness at sites nationwide. It took between five minutes and 20 minutes to complete the course.Previous years’ competitions have pitted NNSA’s Sandia National Laboratories locations in New Mexico and California against each another to determine the fastest workforce. This year, however, more than 600 participants from throughout DOE and NNSA completed the DOE Mile. The race included workers and spouses from DOE sites such as Brookhaven National Laboratory,  Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as NNSA sites and organizations including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Security Technologies, Pantex Plant/Y-12 National Security Complex, Kansas City National Security Campus, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Each organization’s team competed for the fastest times and separately for highest workforce participation. Completion times ranged from five minutes to 20 minutes. In preparation, some participant sites hosted multi-week training programs, both in person and virtually, or practice races leading up to the race date. Participating sites submitted race results to generate placings for top male and female runners and walkers across the enterprise.

“The DOE Mile is a great opportunity to get outside, meet other employees and compete against ten other labs across the country,” said event co-organizer Emily Rada of Sandia California.

While celebrating fitness some team members earned credit for their participation through health plan reimbursements.

“Events like these, that literally put my health and fitness on the line, motivate me to exercise, and that’s a really good thing,” said Dr. Marianne Walck, vice president of Sandia California, in a video invitation before the event.

More than 600 participants took part in the DOE Mile competition this year.