Nutrition Club refuels and re-energizes Trek the Trail racers at annual 5k fundraiser

2021 Trek the Trail participants fuel up with homemade granola bars and tart cherry juice from the UCCS Nutrition Club. Photo credit: Beth Graham

It is a brisk September morning. As the sun rises, so do the UCCS Family Weekend racers participating in the annual Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences (Johnson Beth-El) Trek the Trail 5k.

Eager to hit the new Lori Cohen Memorial Trail on the UCCS campus, more than one-hundred runners and walkers join the event to raise funds for the Johnson Beth-El Trek the Trail student scholarship.

Participants in the 2021 Trek the Trail 5k. Photo credit: Beth Graham

As the racers triumphantly cross the finish line, they can’t help but feel that their energy is depleted from working their way through three miles of mountain terrain. They are drained.

Thankfully, the UCCS Nutrition Club is there, giving out healthy and re-energizing handcrafted granola bars. The club also serves up tart cherry juice to aid racers with post-race recovery. Tart cherry juice is rich in vitamins and minerals and can provide relief for muscle soreness.

“We hope that some runners were able to learn something new and maybe even use tart cherry juice in the future,” said Danielle Wrubel, a senior in Johnson-Beth El and president of the Nutrition Club at UCCS.

“The granola bars were an excellent source of fiber, protein and omega fats, all of which are nutritious for our bodies and should give the runners some fuel.”

Each year, club officers work with Trek the Trail event organizers to develop a post-race snack for participants that is designed to refuel and reenergize all while staying on budget. Club members also engage with participants at the event and provide nutrition education.

“Nutrition Club works to promote interest in the field of nutrition and dietetics, provide nutrition-related education and opportunities for volunteer and community service,” said Wrubel.

Participants in the 2021 Trek the Trail 5k. Photo credit: Beth Graham

Wrubel and Kristin Atkins, the club’s vice president, are also board members of the Southern Colorado Dietetic Association (SCDA). They have hopes of getting the Nutrition Club involved with some of SCDA’s events in the future. Otherwise, catch the Nutrition Club on campus or at the next Trek the Trail during 2022 Family Weekend.

“There is often a misconception that you must be a nutrition student to be involved in Nutrition Club, but that is untrue,” Wrubel said. “Truly, anyone is welcome to join our club, regardless of major.”

Wrubel graduates this spring and looks forward to furthering her education to become a registered dietician.

About the Trek the Trail 5k

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs hosts the annual Trek the Trail 5k run/walk to benefit student scholarships. This event fosters leadership opportunities for students and is a zero-waste event focusing on sustainable, leave-no-trace ethics. In the last six years, Trek the Trail has raised over $9,000 in scholarship funds for students. Learn more on the Trek the Trail website.

This year, Trek the Trail raised more than $2,500 for the student scholarship fund. Save the date for next year’s Trek the Trail 5k: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.