Bill and Linley

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Linley and Bill tackle the seven staircases.

Bill and Linley were encouraged to sign up to 20 Week Challenge by their daughter Tash, who had entered the year before. Bill set himself the goal of being able to run 1km without stopping and do a real press up. Linley wanted to be able to walk up Conical Hill in Hanmer Springs.

The couple threw themselves into the challenge; Bill, who had never cooked before, took over in the kitchen, they set themselves small challenges along the way and put aside time to volunteer for charity.

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Kayak challenge

11143216_1625858754344098_4238176637137993455_nWith their Leapstars teammates and trainers Cate Grace and Lilly Down, Bill and Linley took part in team challenges including walking the Harry El track and paddling 2km along the Avon in a kayak. They also walked 10km as part of the Christchurch Marathon, took part in Tri-July to complete a triathlon in a month and committed to trying new foods as they changed their diets.

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Christchurch marathon

Linley walked up Conical Hill in June, and went on to master the seven steps of Cashmere and various Port Hill tracks. Her health improved so much she was taken off her blood pressure medication.

It wasn’t until the final fitness test that Bill managed to run 1km, but he smashed it in 6mins and 37seconds.

The couple won the Natural Organics Couples award for their impressive efforts and the changes they made to their lifestyle.

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Awards night selfie

“We both knew we had made improvements over the 20 weeks but it would be fair to say the end results far exceeded our expectations. The challenge for us now is to continue what we have started – exercising, trying new foods, being proud of ourselves in what we achieve – working as a team I am sure Linley and I will.”

Get tips on how to excel at the Couples award here – Couples award tips.