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Get ready to shape up

Moving Mountains Slimdown Challenge

   It's back for its fourth year -- just in time to help the community get in better shape, shed some pounds, and maybe change lives.
   The Moving Mountains Slimdown Challenge is gearing up for its 2013 version. Again this year, there will be individual competitions in men's and women's divisions, male and female four-person team competitions, and mixed pairs competitions consisting of one man and one woman.
   Entree fees will remain at $25 per person, with 100 percent of the fees going back out as prize winnings.
   Weigh-ins will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 through 19 at Mountain View Hospital. Participants can weigh in at the Warm Springs Community Center on that Thursday and Friday, but only at the hospital on Saturday. The final weigh-ins will be May 10 and 11.
   Participants are judged on the percentage of hip and waist reduction in inches, and also percentage of weight lost during the 16-week program. There will also be a $100 prize to the man and woman who lose the most weight overall.
   Monetary prizes are awarded to the top three in team competitions, and top five in individual. Prize pools are determined by how many people are in each category. People can participate as individuals and on a team, but no more than in one team event.
   Participants must be 18 years old and six weeks postpartum. Again this year, there is a no yo-yo clause. People who won money in last year's Moving Mountains and have gained more than 20 percent of their weight from the end of last year's contest cannot win money this year, nor can any team they participate on.
   In one of the great benefits of the program, organizers have arranged for an array of healthy lifestyle programs that Moving Mountains participants can take in at no charge, including exercise programs like zumba and fun runs plus dietary education talks.
   Youths involved
   In a new twist this year, youths can take part in Moving Mountains. There will be individual competitions in two division: those in middle school and those in high school. The students will compete in weight lost, step-test improvement and in improvement in blood pressure.
   Signups for the student competition are tentatively set for Jan. 22. While monetary prizes will not be awarded to avoid impacting amateur status for any prep athlete, there will be prizes awarded.
   There will only be individual competitions within the youth divisions, but students are encouraged to challenge others and participate in the spirit of fun and improving their health. More details on the student event, including the announcement of prizes, will be presented at a later date.
   Moving Mountains is sponsored by Mountain View Hospital's Community Health Improvement Program, Jefferson County Health Department, the Madras Aquatic Center, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Madras Pioneer.