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Reading Pacemakers stride ahead in charity initiative

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Rail workers in Reading teamed up with colleagues across the country to accept the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) Pedometer Challenge to walk the equivalent distance to San Francisco in just four weeks.

In order to achieve the overall goal of 8,960,000 steps, each member of the eight teams from CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways were required to walk an average of 10,000 steps per day, measuring their progress with pedometers. The Reading team successfully completed its part of the challenge, undertaken in March by contributing 1,196,860 steps towards the total required.

The Reading team, the Pacemakers, was named after team member and Train Manager Andy Alexander, who was recently fitted with a pacemaker after being diagnosed with a slow heartbeat in 2012.

Fellow team member and CrossCountry Train Manager Coach, Chris Pedley, 36 who lives in Woodley near Reading said: "The pedometer challenge went very well and actually made me ask myself - do I really need to catch the bus or shall I walk it? More often than not I walked it! Not only did that make me feel healthier and more refreshed but it also saved me money which was an added bonus."

CrossCountry signed up to the Pedometer Challenge in support of British Heart Month in February, which also saw staff  take part in BHF's nationwide Rock up in Red day initiative, raising £154.82.  A further donation of £740.43 was made as a result of purchasing the pedometers from the BHF.

Notes to editors

BHF's pedometer challenge

The pedometer challenge is a four week team challenge to get employees walking. It's a fun and easy way for employees to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. And it creates a positive team spirit too. Further information on the challenge can be found here


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CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more than 42,000 employees and operations across 12 European countries. The link to Arriva is The link to Deutsche Bahn is

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CrossCountry facts and figures

PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

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