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Super Yooper Doopers crowned the winner of the 2012 FEP WalkingWorks® Challenge

The Super Yooper Doopers were the winners of the 2012 FEP WalkingWorks Challenge.

The Super Yooper Doopers are back as our reigning champions for the 2012 FEP WalkingWorks Challenge. With two new teammates on their roster, this Upper Peninsula team walked an average of 158.3 miles per person over the course of the four weeks.

Despite summer's blistering heat and the obstacles of everyday life, the Super Yooper Doopers — Susan DeVoe, Jennifer Micheau, Haili Thoney and Denise Wilson — couldn't be stopped.

So, how did they do it? Hard work and determination.

Finding time after work to exercise can be a struggle. So, Wilson, the team captain, made a commitment to squeeze in her miles during the morning, before her day got hectic.

"I would get up first thing in the morning and do five miles every day," she said. "Doing it first thing in morning was the most important for me."

"The goal was to do at least 7.5 miles a day. Sometimes I fell short, but it gave me an incentive for the next day."

Each day, the Super Yooper Doopers would walk at lunchtime — adding at least a mile to their pedometers. Micheau was surprised how simple household duties helped add additional miles, too.

"Gardening, taking more trips up and down the stairs and making sure I walked to get the mail instead of pulling up with my car really made a difference," she said.

The contest also brought some unexpected obstacles for Micheau. During the contest, she struggled with fluid in her ears and asthma triggered by seasonal allergies. Still, she kept walking, taking one step at a time, and she's happy with the results.

"I feel wonderful," she said. "Someone told me I looked like I lost weight, too."

Despite their challenges, the team stayed focused on getting its second win.

"Knowing we wanted to be on the top and that it was good for us, kept us motivated," DeVoe said.

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