796 Million Steps Logged in Duke's Get Moving Challenge 2024

Winners in Duke’s annual wellness competition include a regular top finisher with a new inspiration to move

Cara Gambill, the 2024 Get Moving Challenge winner, poses in two hiking locales, and with her father, Alan Gambill

“So that we can keep him alive and healthy,” Gambill said. “He has his own little exercise regimen of jumping jacks, push-ups and planks, but his cardiologist recommended walking for exercise. So we just get him out there to help him.”

Cara Gambill with her father, Alan Gambill, pose on a walk to a salt mine overlooking Hallstatt Lake near Salzburg, Germany. in December 2023.
Cara Gambill, left, poses with her father, Alan Gambill, on a walk to a salt mine overlooking Hallstatt Lake near Salzburg, Germany, in December 2023. Photo courtesy of Cara Gambill

All their walking combined with Gambill’s typical active routine added up to 3,564,140 steps and 21,706 exercise minutes during the first three months of 2024 – enough for her to be crowned the Get Moving Challenge individual winner in both categories.

Get Moving Challenge winners were announced in late March, ending the 10-week LIVE FOR LIFE competition for individuals and teams to log the most steps and exercise minutes at the start of the year. A separate category also encourages weight management – loss, maintenance or gain, depending on an individual’s goals – without competing for a prize.

In all, 240 teams and 2,346 people combined for 3.8 million minutes of exercise and 796 million total steps, according to Sara Cathey, Health Education Specialist for LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program.

For the first time since the competition began in 2012, teams were assigned to leagues that were organized by the average number of steps and exercise minutes reported when the competition began. Each competition category had three league levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum – and winners for each league.

“We hoped that would even the playing field and also provide more opportunities for prizes and winning, but just also keep people engaged by having a closer race among peers,” Cathey said.

Sticking with a routine is the best advice Gambill, 55, can share from her active life. The former Duke soccer player hikes all over the world – trips last year included Meteora in Greece, the Dolomites in Italy and Germany – and typically averages 30-40,000 steps per day through normal activity. She tries to bump it up to 50,000 steps per day during the Get Moving Challenge.

“You’ve got to make time for it,” she said. “It’s not always easy – you may have to get up early or stay up late – but the health benefits and mental health benefits are certainly worth it.”

Gold League Team Steps Winner: 'Flesh Eating Step'

"Flesh Eating Step" members worked out in various ways, including (from top left, clockwise): Alison Smith running, Gary Cox biking beneath a rainbow, Chris Polage and Jason Stout biking, and Steve Pappas lifting weights.
"Flesh Eating Step" members worked out in various ways, including (from top left, clockwise): Alison Smith running, Gary Cox biking beneath a rainbow, Chris Polage and Jason Stout biking, and Steve Pappas lifting weights. Photos courtesy of Jason Stout

“Flesh Eating Step,” a team primarily made up of Duke medical professionals in infectious disease, logged 1,049,997 steps in capturing the Gold League victory – which was significantly more than winners of the Silver League (613,947 steps) or Platinum League (860,340).

The secret?

“You recruit people who are fundamentally insane and you go from there,” joked team captain Jason Stout, a Professor of Medicine in Infectious Disease.

Flesh Eating Step had one team member who was training for a marathon, another who regularly rides a unicycle and several who often commute to work via bicycle. Everyone, Stout said, was motivated by a chance at bragging rights.

“It’s all about the glory first, and the T-shirt third,” Stout said.

Platinum League Team Steps/Gold League Exercise Minutes Winner: 'Data Partner-ripped'

Members of “Data Partner-ripped,” the team made up of employees from Duke Health Technology Solutions Data Partnerships, work remotely. Team members are scattered throughout the Triangle area, some in other areas of North Carolina and one in Georgia.

The Get Moving Challenge helped them all connect, and that bond resulted in the team taking top honors in steps in the Platinum League and in exercise minutes in the Gold League.

Team captain Josh Weatherman encouraged everyone to keep add exercise minutes and steps via weekly emails, and they messaged on a special Microsoft Teams channel about tidbits like when they bought new running shoes and how excited they were to break them in.

“The team definitely grew a little closer because of the challenge and just the mutual encouragement that we see from everyone doing their part and bringing up our numbers,” Weatherman said. “So that was a lot of fun.”

It also helped that one team member was training for a marathon, and another, Cathy Vanliew, was No. 2 in individual exercise minutes.

The full list of top finishers is below:


Silver League: Peaceful OASIS, 613,947 steps

Gold League: Flesh Eating Step, 1,049,997 steps

Platinum League: Data Partner-ripped, 860,340 steps


Silver League: Team 2: Movers, Shakers and Baby Makers, 2,066 minutes

Gold League: Data Partner-ripped, 6,011 minutes

Platinum League: No winner


Cara Gambill, 3,564,140 steps

Hana Jarrad, 2,740,697 steps

Kate Sanborn, 2,588,331 steps

Jeannet Constante, 2,255,350 steps

Laura Litt, 2,101,073 steps


Cara Gambill, 21,706 minutes

Catherine Vanliew, 17,943 minutes

Kimberly Burney, 16,380 minutes

Chandra Cunningham, 15,346 minutes

Jodi Unruh, 14,797 minutes

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