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Markell hopes to promote getting healthy through cross-country bike ride

Delaware Public Media

Former Gov. Jack Markell’s cross-country bike ride begins later this week, and he’s trying to use it to help others get in shape.

Markell is teaming up with Motivate The First State during his trek from Oregon to Delaware – through the ‘Keeping Up with Jack Across America” challenge.

The challenge encourages people to log their healthy behaviors at the Motivate The First State website.  The points they earn for walking, biking, drinking water and eating vegetables covert into donations to nonprofits like Special Olympics Delaware, the Siegel Jewish Community Center, Urban Promise, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.

Markell says the partnership brings added meaning to his ride.

For me, what really makes it worthwhile is I get to combine taking care of myself and getting physically fit with helping all these really wonderful Delaware organizations," said Markell. "So, I really encourage you [to participate].  We want more people participating."

Motivate the First State officials say Markell already boosted their efforts during a challenge held while he trained for his ride in May.

The site saw a 10 percent growth in membership during May and donated $6,700 to charity.

"It’s a really great challenge.  I think it will be a lifetime memory for him. But I love the fact that he’s taken time to focus on the people of Delaware again and try to raise money for good causes that are making a difference and at the same time challenge Delawareans to join him in his effort," said Motivate The First State campaign director Justin Danner.

Danner says even before he’s pedaled a mile, Markell’s ride has also helped raise $100,000 in corporate money to help fund the Motivate The First State contributions to nonprofits..

Markell’s trip Friday in Oregon and ends 50 days and nearly 3,700 miles later August 7th in Rehoboth.

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