Hayden prepares for Turkey Day | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden prepares for Turkey Day

Wyatt Mortenson leads the runners during November's Turkey Trot at Dry Creek Park in Hayden. The Hayden Valley Elementary Health and Wellness Team promotes the event in partnership with Hayden Parks and Recreation. It's one of several efforts of the team
Matt Stensland

— Hayden residents were earning their turkey next week with the second annual Turkey Trot on Saturday at Dry Creek Park.

About 70 people showed up to compete in the 5-kilometer race or to walk at their own pace for a mile.

The event benefited the Health and Wellness Team at Hayden Valley Elementary School. The program has existed for the past year and a half.

“It’s just been a snowball that’s been rolling and growing,” said Kristin Mortenson, one of the team’s leaders.

With cuts to the music, arts and physical education programs, the Hayden School District had to find alternative ways to promote physical, emotional and social wellness.

“It’s just another aspect of education,” Hayden Valley Elementary School building administrator Rhonda Sweeter said.

She said research has proven that a healthy brain leads to better learning.

The Hayden and South Routt school district recently had a health and wellness grant renewed through the Colorado Health Foundation for the next three years. It funds a person to facilitate the programs.

All the funds the wellness programs raise go back to the cause.

Hayden puts on an activity challenge. Last year, the monthlong challenge had students and teachers tracking their activity and consumption of water, fruits and vegetables.

During the school’s visiting artist series, a local artist does an activity with the students.

During school, students have an active health class that ensures students have some sort of activity daily. Some days they receive wellness tips, such as how to deal with stress.

Before Saturday’s event, runners were led through a breathing exercise to ready them for the chilly race.

Wyatt Mortenson, 14, finished first.

“I love running,” said Mortenson, who runs for the Moffat County Middle School cross country team.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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