If the community of Mountain Green had a theme song, it would probably be the one where in the cartoon, “Madagascar”, when the lemur sings “I like to move it, move it… physically fit, physically fit, physically, physically, physically fit.” Upon hearing the catchy tune, and seeing the sweet moves, one can’t help but to move it too. And that is just what the organizers of Saturday’s Tour de Mtn. Green were hoping to accomplish by strutting their own stuff; getting others to get up and move it too.
Last year when Sydney Bond was asked to help organize a family olympics for the monthly community activities held for the cottonwoods subdivision, she and her fellow committee members had something else in mind. “We wanted to take this activity to a whole new level,” said Sydney.
Committee member, Courtney Wallin, explained, “We wanted to promote healthy lifestyles and make everyone aware of the limitless family recreational opportunities right out our own back door.” And why not share a good thing? So, rather than keep it all to themselves, they decided to invite not only their own community and the rest of Morgan County, but also all of Utah and beyond.
The sedentary lifestyle that many Americans have adopted has led to an obesity epidemic that is threatening to erase the progress in public health made over the past century. But, it is the efforts of people like Courtney and Sydney that help to stem this tide by reminding people just how good it feels to be active.
The second annual Tour de Mtn. Green was held Saturday, offering fitness activities for every age and ability level while surrounded by beautiful vistas. All of the activities throughout the day-long event were free to the public. Participants could also purchase meals from the outside barbecue in the Meadows at Snow Basin, or take a ride on the gondola to the top of the mountain to get an even grander view of the world. (Snow Basin allowed children 17 and under to ride the gondola free of charge, and adults could purchase a ticket for $14.)
The first activity of the day was sunrise yoga near the lodge at Snow Basin. About twenty participants showed up for the 6:00 a.m. stretching and twisting routine led by Tricia Buss.
Two swallows, that had made their nest in the eve of the lodge, did their own morning warm-ups, and performed aerial acrobatics next to the yogis, adding to the picturesque mountain setting. Timothy Johnson, from Uintah, the only man in a sea of women (plus one girl), came to reconnect with his inner energy. “I haven’t done yoga for about a year,” said Timothy, “and I wanted to give it another try.”
Organizers of the event wanted to provide such opportunities for people to try something new or to just remember the positive benefits of participating in healthy activities.
After getting the morning started with yoga, it was time for some pedaling through Morgan County. The tour offered bikers the choice of an easy 8 mile ride, an intermediate 17 mile ride, or for the die-hards, a 40 mile loop from Needles Peak bike shop in Mountain Green to East Canyon Reservoir and back. Renee Galbraith was one of the die-hards and chose the grueling route to East Canyon. Renee’s friends Erika Beckstrom and Jane Petersen opted instead for the 17 mile loop through Milton.
When it was time for the run, walk, stroll, or roll, participants had the option of a 1, 3, or 5 mile route beginning at the top of the cottonwoods. Seven year old Isac Lowder chose to ride a scooter on the 3 miler. At the sound of the starting horn, the racers were off. Isac was able to gain a substantial lead early on by taking advantage of the downhill portion of the route and letting gravity take over. With wheels smokin and an eye on the glory of finishing first, Isac screamed past the throng of runners like a super-hero on a mission; “no guts, no glory” painted clearly on the boy’s facial expression.
He maintained his lead and as he approached the final stretch of the course, with no other competitors in sight, he took a breather and posed for a picture. “I’m in first place,” he proudly announced. And with a four wheeler escort and a deafening cheer from the spectators, Isac scooted across the finish line beaming a seven-year-old front-toothless smile.
Participants were then offered the chance to canoe on Silver Lake or take a float on the Weber River. “We filled all of the 120 tubing slots,” said Sydney Bond, “and 140 of the canoe slots.” The tubing, courtesy of Barefoot Tubing, was new this year. Participants needed to reserve a time slot prior to the event by signing up online.
The day’s events culminated with mountain biking and hiking along the scenic trails of Snow Basin, and a picnic in the Meadows on top of the world. The evening brought the tour survivors together to relax while listening to live music. Children, still bursting with energy, danced, ran, tumbled, twirled, or balanced on the fence poles as if offering a toast to health. And for one last hip-hurrah, Zumba, a high intensity dance workout, gave everyone one last chance to get the lead out.
The icing on the day’s event was the much anticipated tour highlight film where everyone was a star on the big screen.
Erika Lowder, resident of Mountain Green and tour participant, said, “When people spend time together exercising, and building relationships, it brings communities together and makes us all stronger.”
Courtney Wallin had this to say about this year’s event. “As we continue to share our passion for healthy lifestyles and mountain living, we want you to know that we are committed to you and our community. Proceeds generated from the Tour de Mtn. Green are used to make the event possible. In the near future, we will be determining where to use any excess funds. We are committed to improving healthy living within our community whether through trail development, youth recreation clubs, or improving school programs such as physical education and school lunch. Recently, we established the Tour de Mtn. Green as an official non-profit organization.”
This year was a great success; with more sponsors, more participants, and more ways to move it. And plans are already underway to make next year even better.