6 Week Program Gets Community on the Trail to Fitness

Hayward, Wisc. (August 4, 2016) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) and Essentia Health have joined together for year two of Be Healthy Hayward, a 6-week, community-focused program to encourage physical fitness while getting people ready to run or walk in the October 1 Birkie 5K Trail Run; part of the Birkie Trail Run & Trek. Now in its second year, last summer’s Be Healthy Hayward program had over 50 participants.

Be Healthy Hayward is designed to get people off of the couch and ready for a 5K run/walk, focusing on people who have either never run before, who haven’t run in a while, or who haven’t participated in an organized 5K run/walk. The program will help get participants on the trail to physical fitness by providing training tips, group support and a progressive training plan to successfully complete a 5K run/walk.

Be Healthy Hayward begins Aug.22 and will meet every Tuesday at noon and Thursday at 5:00pm. Participants will gather at the Essentia Health Clinic where each week medical professionals will provide tips to help aspiring runners on their journey to physical fitness. From there, the group will head to the woods for guided walks/runs on the Hayward Memorial Hospital Trails. Participants can attend as many or as few sessions as will fit their schedules.

“Be Healthy Hayward provides the perfect opportunity for us to work together to promote physical fitness and provide healthy activities for folks in the Hayward community,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. “As a core component of our mission, the ABSF is continually doing what we can to promote a healthy, active lifestyle for all ages and abilities, whatever the season. We’re grateful to the Hayward Memorial Hospital for the use of their beautiful trails for this program.”

Birkie staff will lead the Be Healthy Hayward sessions each week. The final session will be Sept. 29, only 2 short days before the 15th annual Birkie Trail Run & Trek, where an over 1,000 runners and trekkers (Nordic walking with poles) will traverse their way along the forested Birkie Trail stretching from Cable to Hayward. In addition to the 26.2-mile marathon, 13.1 half marathon, 10-mile trek and 5k run/walk (3.1 miles), there is 100k Ultra Marathon where runners will take on 62.2 miles through the woods. There is also a youth 5k and 1k (free for ages 9 and under), and a marathon relay for teams of three or six.

“Each week, medical professionals will present topics such as the importance of stretching, hydration, clothing/shoes, nutrition, injury prevention and more. After 6-weeks, participants will be knowledgeable about fitness and physically prepared to successfully complete a 5K run/walk,” added Kristi Maki, ABSF Sport Development and Operations Manager.

Participants of Be Healthy Hayward are not required to sign up for the Birkie Run; the program is simply for anyone interested in getting in shape. “Even if someone isn’t ready to commit to a race, the Be Healthy Hayward training program is a great way to get outside and get moving with family, friends and coworkers on the gorgeous trails,” Maki said.

The Birkie Trail Run & Trek on October 1 is ideal for runners looking to get off of the road and get into the woods, providing an ideal crossover race experience and introduction to trail running. Participants will experience a friendly north woods vibe, under a canopy of colorful fall leaves, on a great trail, on-site camping is available, a post-race BBQ, craft beers and live music at Birkie Ridge.

“The Birkie Trail Run & Trek offers a north woods trail run experience for every ability level, whether you’re a marathon or recreational runner, a trekker or a walker,” said Allan Serrano, ABSF Event Director. “Last year, one of our Be Healthy Hayward participants won her age-class in the 5K. Seeing that change in someone is exciting and we hope that all of the Be Healthy Hayward participants will join us for the 5K on October 1st,” Serrano continued.

The cost to participate in Be Healthy Hayward is $30 and includes a Be Healthy Hayward performance-style T-shirt. To register, visit www.BeHealthyHayward.com.

Additional event information and registration for the Birkie Trail Run & Trek is available at www.Birkie.com. If you’re interested in volunteering, please call (715) 634-5025, email birkie@birkie.com, or visit www.Birkie.com/volunteer for information.

Posted August 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm