More than 500 Northlanders began a new weight loss journey last week.

The Duluth News Tribune and St. Luke’s recently partnered up to create Duluze, a 13-week team-oriented challenge to get fit — and win cash if you’re one of the top teams.

The Duluze crew saw a huge turnout during last Thursday’s kickoff at Clyde Iron Works. More than 500 participants came through the doors, took photos, and stepped on the scale. Several sponsors also set up booths and took the stage to offer encouragement and resources.

With 50 percent of the $15.00 registration fee going to CHUM, Duluze staff estimate they’ll be able to donate about $4,000 to the food shelf.

Duluze teams will log their progress every week for the duration of the challenge, with the final weight-out event coming in April.

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