Skip to main content
March 09, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Set the Pace Challenge will return to the 14th annual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Registrants can participate in the Grand Blue Mile virtually or in person on April 25 in downtown Des Moines for a chance to win $10,000 for their community.

As part of the challenge, the community with the highest percentage of its residents participating in the Grand Blue Mile — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against its total population — will be awarded $10,000, courtesy of Wellmark, to use on a project that promotes safe, inclusive, and accessible places in which to be active, such as a park, playground or trail. Additional information and resources, including past project videos and a digital toolkit to encourage and facilitate community participation, are available here External Link.

“Wellmark is deeply committed to improving the health of our communities and the Set the Pace Challenge provides a tremendous incentive for Iowans to enjoy a family-friendly physical activity, while working together to enhance the well-being of their own hometowns,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation & alliance manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “By continuing to host the event in a hybrid format, we’re inviting participants across the state to engage in the Grand Blue Mile in a setting that suits them best.”

Columbus Junction, Iowa, was most recently recognized as Wellmark’s Set the Pace Challenge winner following the 2022 Grand Blue Mile. The eastern Iowa community used the award funding from Wellmark to purchase new playground equipment for Chautauqua Park in conjunction with its centennial celebration.

Enter your community for a chance to win, register today.

Registration for the 2023 Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is now open at External Link. Registration is $15 for youth and $20 for adults. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of Iowans, all proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.