Slide a mile, then splash awhile
If you go
What: Slide-A-Mile event. Participants try to slide a mile by going down the water slide 44 times.
When: Between 1 and 3:30 p.m. every day from now through Jan. 1.
Where: Whitewater Aquatic and Fitness Center, 580 S. Elizabeth St., Whitewater.
Cost: Daily admission to the center is $6 per person. The cost for Slide-A-Mile is $20 per person, $15 for each additional team member. All participants get a T-shirt, a slushie and a bag of popcorn.
For more information: Call 262-473-4900 or visit whitewateraquatic.com.
WHITEWATER A mile is a long way, especially if you're a kid.
At the Whitewater Aquatic Center, it's all downhill, and ends with a splash—44 splashes, to be precise.
Between now and Jan. 1, kids of all ages will be attempting the feat for an event called "Slide-A-Mile." Forty-four trips down a 120-foot slide equals a 5,280 feet, which is one mile. The event, which is open to everyone, is just for fun.
It's also a sneaky way to get kids away from video-game induced lassitude, and that's something teachers such as Carol Tyriver appreciate.
As a physical education teacher at Adams Elementary School in Janesville, Tyriver's job involves getting kids moving.
You'd think this would be easy, but active play long ago gave way to static play.
"There are so many other things that get their attention," Tyriver said.
Those other things include video games, movies on demand and all the passive entertainment the Internet can offer.
"That's our competition," Tyriver said. "It's the quick-entertainment factor; it's stuff that we didn't have when we were small."
Gina Foucault, aquatic coordinator at the Whitewater Aquatic and Fitness Center, said the Slide-A-Mile Challenge wasn't specifically designed to combat winter-break inactivity.
"It was just a opportunity to get kids moving and get them into the facility," Foucault said.
Ha! "Getting kids moving" sounds suspiciously like exercise.
After all, for every 120-foot slide down, they'll have to go up 31 stairs.
That's a total of 1,364 stairs. Take a rise of 7.5 inches per stair and you've got the equivalent of 10,230 inches or 852.5 feet.
That's quite a climb.
But the trip down is a breeze.
Meanwhile, grown-ups take in the fun from the whirlpool, lap pool, or leisure pool.
"The best thing is to get the whole family going," Tyriver said. "I don't think parents realize how important role modeling is. If the parents are excited and have fun with it, the kids will, too."