Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, September 20, 2010

‘Go Blue Challenge’ encourages employee participation in run/walk event

In support of this year’s annual Big House Big Heart Run (BHBH), U-M leadership has issued a “Go Blue Challenge” to every U-M department, school and college. U-M areas are asked to form a BHBH team and participate in any of the run/walk events taking place Oct. 3. Participants can choose between a one-mile Fun Run/Walk, 5K or 10K.

Two U-M areas — one from an academic school or college and one from a non-academic department — will be awarded. The winning areas will be chosen based on the highest percentage of people it has participating.

“Big House Big Heart is an event where everyone can participate and is also a great opportunity to enjoy the campus while also getting in some exercise,” says Dr. Robert Winfield, chief health officer. “You can walk or run, go a mile or two, or go the distance by completing a 5K or 10K run. All while supporting some important programs here at U-M as well as charities throughout our community.”

A portion of BHBH registration fees raise money for a number of U-M programs, including ALS Research at the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, and the U-M Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center. BHBH teams also can raise money for a charity of their choice by getting tax-deductible donations for completing their event.

All funds raised by teams go directly to their charity. Last year, more than 10,000 people participated in Big House Big Heart events, raising nearly $600,000 for local charities.

The chip-timed 5K and 10K races start at Michigan Stadium, go through campus and end inside the stadium at the 50-yard line.

“Big House Big Heart gives the entire community the chance to see what it feels like to run through the Big House tunnel and on to the field to a personal victory,” says Colleen Greene, MHealthy wellness coordinator and logistics chair for BHBH. “You’ll also have the opportunity to watch yourself cross the 50-yard line on the stadium’s Jumbotron, a perfect finale to the day’s events.”

Big House Big Heart is organized by Champions for Charity and supported by U-M’s MHealthy and RecSports programs. The event welcomes walkers, runners, wheelchairs and strollers.

The cost for the 5K or 10K is $36 ($9 is a tax-deductible contribution split between the three UMHS programs.) The cost for the one-mile Fun Run or Walk is $18 ($4 is tax deductible).

To register, go to by Oct. 1; select a school, college or department then register for one of the run/walk events.