‘For the health of it’ | SummitDaily.com

‘For the health of it’

Special to the DailyA runner in last year's 5K "Race for the Health of it" crosses the finish line at Copper Mountain. This year, HealthQuest organizers added a 10K trail race to the weekend event.

COPPER MOUNTAIN – The beneficiaries are primarily women’s charities, but HealthQuest is for everyone. The third annual event brings together a lecture series, an expo and two foot races this weekend at Copper Mountain.There will be an atmosphere of fun, fitness and education for an event that benefits the Women of the Summit Cancer Fund – money that helps local women get screenings and treatment for cancer – and Summit County Advocates for Victims of Assault, a local charity that is facing cuts in state and federal grant money.The weekend starts Saturday at noon with the Women’s Health Symposium. Two years ago, organizer and local doctor Julie Gelman merged her symposium with the HealthQuest event, and the two have made a perfect pair.”It’s just gotten bigger and bigger,” Gelman said.

This year’s symposium features four lectures: Gelman talking on alternative therapies for menopause; Dr. Elizabeth Winfield talking on the importance of colon cancer screenings; psychologist Barbara Leffler and Dr. Sloan Burton talking on premenstrual syndrome; and Gelman talking about the sensitive topic of decreased libido.”It’s a pretty big concern,” Gelman said. “It doesn’t get brought up in the office as much as it happens. I bet there are more women who would like to discuss it but don’t because it’s embarrassing.”Gelman said she chose lecture topics based on the concerns she hears while seeing patients in her local practice.The symposium takes place in the Ptarmigan Room at the conference center in Copper Mountain’s center village (below Jack’s restaurant) and is free, although donations are encouraged. It begins with a group yoga session and finishes with a pasta dinner and silent auction at Jack’s.After a day of learning and discussing health issues at the symposium, HealthQuest continues Sunday with a big health expo and two races. The 5-kilometer “Race for the Health of it” is for competitive runners and leisurely walkers alike, while the new 10K trail run is more challenging.

“In the 5K, we get the killer guys, but also the people who stroll along with their kids and are doing it just to support the causes,” said event coordinator Sue Falsey.Both running events start at noon at the base of Copper.The expo will be ongoing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Burning Stones Plaza. It’s an interactive event for both genders and all ages with almost 30 different participating groups, including acupuncturists, physical therapists, yoga instructors, a health rhythms group and many more.Screenings for bone density and cholesterol will also be available.

“The health expo is a combination of traditional medicine and (alternative therapies),” Falsey said. “It’s all sorts of things for people to look at and try. It’s a real participatory thing.”Asked what she hopes the estimated 100-plus attendees will get out of HealthQuest 2004, Falsey said: “A little more energy in terms of celebrating a healthy lifestyle, a little more knowledge about women’s health issues and a sense of participating in a community event.”She stressed that all the money raised will stay in Summit County and go toward helping local residents.For more information, go to http://www.summithealthquest.com.Jason Starr can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at jstarr@summitdaily.com.

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