Just days after the Tuolumne County Office of Education squeaked out a win in a three-county fitness challenge, the trash talking was running rampant.
Tuolumne staffers edged out Stanislaus and San Joaquin educators in a four-week fitness throw down, with points earned for losing weight, exercising and eating healthy.
"I don't think it was so much a victory as a crushing," boasted Joe Silva, Tuolumne County's superintendent of schools. "Like the grapes in the valley, they were crushed."
San Joaquin and Stanislaus county superintendents Fredrick Wentworth and Tom Changnon pledged to bring the winner's trophy to Sonora in person next month.
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"I have never seen such whimpering from two grown men," Silva added, with a laugh.
The Tuolumne office employs about 45 people, 14 of whom signed up to participate, Silva said. For four years before this year's challenge, the Tuolumne office has run its own fitness competition against teams from the Sheriff's Department and the staff of the local newspaper, The Union-Democrat.
The Stanislaus County Office of Education came in second, with 386.5 points to Tuolumne's 440. The San Joaquin County office posted 283 points. Points were earned for losing weight, exercising, donating blood, drinking water and reading health articles and books, among other categories.
The Stanislaus County Office of Education began its own fitness challenge against co-workers in 2006 in an effort to model healthful habits to students.
More than 340 of the 900 Stanislaus staffers participated in this year's three-county competition. They've reported losing at least 230 pounds, drinking 1,300 gallons of water and eating 9,800 servings of fruits and vegetables.
And they weren't quite ready to admit defeat.
"We are trying to get together to present the trophy to (Tuolumne), even though we feel they had the advantage -- a small team," groaned communications coordinator Judy Leitz.
Points are collected weekly and divided by the number of participants for a team average.
To view results of the three-county fitness
challenge, go to www.stancoe.org/SCOE/admin/annualEvents/FitChal/08/welcome.htm.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2337.