Batter up! Tread the Med kicks off April 26

Registration begins Tuesday, April 17

Participants in last fall’s Tread the Med line up for fruit and water at the kickoff event. (Credit: Robert Boston)

Get out and enjoy the weather — Tread the Med’s “Most Valuable Walker” campaign at Washington University School of Medicine is ready to begin.

The kickoff celebration will be held from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. April 26 in Hudlin Park with a ceremonial first walk led by Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine; James P. Crane, MD, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, and Fredbird, mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals. Participants can enjoy fresh fruit, bottled water and the music of Fanfare.

All School of Medicine employees are eligible to participate in the Tread the Med program and kickoff.

The summer campaign, which runs from April 30-Aug. 7, aims for participants to virtually walk 500 miles from Busch Stadium to Kauffman Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals play in Kansas City, which is hosting this year’s All-Star Game, then back to Busch Stadium. To be a Most Valuable Walker, participants need to walk the virtual 500 miles, or 1 million steps, in 100 days.

Incentives include a cinch pack at 250,000 steps, a bandana at 500,000 steps, a baseball T-shirt at 750,000 steps and a baseball cap at 1 million steps.

Participants in Tread the Med also will be able to purchase $10 tickets (regularly $37 each) to Tread the Med Night June 14 when the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago White Sox at Busch Stadium. Participants may purchase up to eight tickets. Four winners will have a chance to be on the field during batting practice, and other events are planned.

Beginning April 17, participants may enroll at Select the Tread the Med tab for a brief description of the program then click on the tab labeled “Registration” to enter your name and e-mail address and to authorize the $5 fee to be deducted from your paycheck.

The fee helps cover the cost of a pedometer, prizes and participation in the program. Following registration, participants will be asked to complete an optional survey that will help measure the program’s success. Registration closes May 4.