Walk on Your Lunch Break and Win Cool Prizes: The D20 Walk and Rewards Program

Starting in August, walking for 20 minutes at Love Park or Rittenhouse Square = free stuff!

From the awful humidity to the city’s growing stench (the southwest corner of 15th and Market, anyone?), it’s understandable if you’re hailing more cabs than taking more strolls lately.  Why would anyone want to walk in this weather? One reason: because you can receive anything from a free latte to a free Japanese meal for two. (Oh yeah, and it’s good for you, too!)

All you have to do is walk for 20 minutes. Seriously!

On Monday, August 2nd, the D20 Walking for Rewards Program will kick off in full force at Love Park and Rittenhouse Square.  Though the daily walking program (which stands for “the daily 20,” the recommended 20-minute dose of walking) has been underway since May, August 2nd represents the first day you can both walk and win lots of fun stuff from the program’s sponsors.

“We felt early on that this program is a benefit to everyone,” said founder Mike Ditomasso, citing improved stamina, a boost of endorphins and the social benefit of walking with others.  “We just wanted to have a little something to get people out.”

That “something” is an incentives program that rewards people the more they walk.  After an automatic first-walk reward, walkers can receive rewards after five walks, 10 walks, and so on—all the way up to 90 days of walking. The more you walk, the better your rewards. For instance, 15 days of walking can get you 50 percent off your entire lunch bill at Tuscany Café, while 60 days will snag you a “Red Pin Party” at Lucky Strikes Lanes and Lounge – a $200-value!  (These are not raffles — if you walk the required amount, you will receive the reward.) You also can redeem rewards as frequently as you wish — so, if your sweet tooth is particularly demanding, you can continually redeem a free small ice cream or yogurt from Scoop de Ville after 15 days of walking, rather than waiting 60 days for the two free medium “Flavor Creations.”

Rewards are based on “total days walked”, not consecutive days walked, so if have a busy day at work, don’t feel well, or head to the Shore for a week, your progress is not erased.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the D20 walking groups will meet at Love Park at 12:30 pm and at the entrance of Rittenhouse Square at 1:30 pm daily, Monday through Friday.  The Love Park group will walk down the parkway, circle Logan’s Square three times, and then head back up the parkway. The Rittenhouse Square group will circle the park three times without stopping.  Ditomasso also acknowledged the possibility of morning and happy-hour walks in the future, for those who can’t slip out during the day.

Though it is not necessary to change into sweatpants or gym shorts, Ditomasso noted, “We want to encourage people to have good walking principles and practices — and that [means] good, comfortable walking shoes.”  First-time participants will also receive a free D20 t-shirt to wear on all future outings.

Sign-up is free and completed on-the-spot, so there’s nothing to do before you show up at the walks. Ditomasso and co-founder Mark Bornstein will keep track of each time you walk.  When you’re ready to redeem a reward, they’ll double-check their database and present you with a D20-certified coupon.

It’s a simple system, but Ditomasso is hoping that it will have far-reaching effects. “Philly is consistently labeled one of the top 20 unfit cities.  And I think people just don’t understand how walk-able and beautiful the city is,” he said.  “If [D20] took over and we had thousands of people walking, [maybe] we could turn into one of the fittest cities.”

(For more information check out the website or call 267-249-6005.)