RED WING, Minn. — Tom Hughes never considered himself as the competitive type. That is, until he decided he was ready to ‘Ramble.’ Hughes, a Red Wing native and well-known radio personality for over 35 years, participates in the annual River City Ramble 2-Miler Walk each year. He has won or placed as a top finisher multiple times. “The first time I won the walking competition award, I was so happy I cried,” says Hughes.
There was a time, long ago, when walking up one hill was not physically possible for Hughes. A few decades ago, Hughes described himself as “a big, fat slob” and knew he needed to lose some weight and get active. He shed 90 pounds by walking on a regular basis. Now, at age 64, he continues to put one foot in front of the other and walks between 11- 14 miles per week.
Hughes credits the Get Ready to Ramble training program, a free weekly training and educational program hosted by Mayo Clinic Health System and the Red Wing Family YMCA, for helping him to “get his butt in gear each year.” His daughter, Jenna (Hughes) Seeley is one of the trainers from the Red Wing Family YMCA who facilitates the sessions held at the Central Park Bandshell each Monday at 11:30 a.m. and again at 5:15 p.m.
“I think the training program is excellent,” says Hughes. “I’ve enjoyed walking with other participants and have met some new friends because of this program.” He also believes the motivational speakers and educational resources offered have greatly influenced his motivation to be active and live a healthier lifestyle. In addition to walking regularly, Hughes plays racquetball and works two part-time jobs that keep him moving throughout the day.
Needless to say, walking uphill is no longer a barrier for Hughes. His competitive spirit is fueling up as the kickoff nears for the Get Ready to Ramble program.
“If someone thinks they can beat me, bring it on.”
About the Get Ready to Ramble training program
To sign up for the free 5K training and 2 mile walking program, visit the River City Ramble page and click on the registration link. The training program officially begins Monday, June 6, 2016. Runners will meet at 11:30 a.m. and walkers meet at 5:15 p.m. at the Central Park Bandshell.