by Christine Bishop
For the past three years, BlueShield of Northeastern New York has generously sponsored mile markers for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon and Hannaford Half Marathon. A mile marker is a very important sign for runners as it informs them of the distance they have run and what is left to do. As racers travel the 26.2 miles from Central Park in Schenectady to Jennings Landing at Corning Park in Albany, they pass BlueShield signs along the course that cheer them on. Of course, mile 26 is their favorite sign!
BlueShield features a wealth of health oriented community events throughout the year. They support the Capital District YMCA Race series and cover 11 different events from duoathlons, triathlons, to 5Ks. Both in the summer and winter they give fitness classes at the Empire State Plaza and offer free outdoor gentle yoga classes at the Schenectady Farmers’ Market in the summer. They often get requests to be at 5ks, walks, etc., and they try to be at as many as possible. On October 7, they were at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and at the Walk for Wildwood, in Cook Park. Almost every weekend they are out promoting fitness, health and wellness in the Capital District.
The Healthy Zone Cruiser can often be seen at these events making healthy activities fun for kids and adults. BlueShield actively tries to involve its employees in its programs. It offers them a sampling of their Fitness at the Plaza yoga class and various wellness initiatives throughout the year. In addition, some of their sponsorships, such as Susan G Komen and the YMCA races, come with free entries for employees.
Nicky Chlopecki is the Supervisor of Community Relations for BlueShield. She and her husband are both runners who especially love the Stockade-athon 15K (9.3 miles). Nicky has done it every year since 2007. Their 8-year-old daughter also runs occasionally and has done some one-mile races. Nicky is an ardent supporter, as is BlueShield, of the Girls on the Run program, which begins in third grade. Its purpose is to promote health and wellness for kids who don’t have a role model at home. Nicky has been a mentor for many years, as have others in BlueShield.
Basically the mission of BlueShield is to act as a catalyst for both kids and adults to engage in healthy activities since good health improves the quality of life. BlueShield plays a vital part in promoting wellness in the Capital Region and the HMRRC is grateful for its continued support.