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Santa Fe, NM-- The second annual Atalaya Elementary Roadrunner Turkey Trot is Thursday, November 26, 9 a.m. and benefits the Atalaya Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA.) This event raises money every year to hire a PE teacher for the school.

More than 400 runners will participate in the Atalaya Turkey Trot which includes a 5K race and a 1K fun run that winds throughout the hills of the historic eastside of Santa Fe. Prizes, pumpkin pies, and T-shirts are among the rewards for the runners. All children participating in the 5K and 1K will receive medals.

Promoting the joy of running and encouraging participants will be members of the AmeriKenyan Running Club, whose mission starts with promoting good health through running, jogging or walking. The Santa Fe-based AmeriKenyan Running Club consists of elite runners who train locally and compete professionally around the world. These athletes are passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle in America and helping their communities at home in Kenya. The club works with local schools and the Santa Fe Striders to host running clinics, speaking engagements and other appearances in Santa Fe and New Mexico.

"It is so important that our students get enough time to runoutside and learn about the importance of exercise," says Andrea Hamilton, Atalaya Principal.   "New studies show that children who spend time engaged in physical activities do better in academics.  Our school is indebted to the parents who raise all of the money to hire our physical education teacher plus support activities in our classrooms."

The Atalaya Turkey Trot was organized in 2008 by a group of parents dedicated to raising money for their school while supporting the idea that physical education can be about fun and community.

"The Turkey Trot is so much fun and we've been having a great time organizing it," says Atalaya parent Laura Bacon.  "We're getting tons of support from the community and it's been a successful fundraiser for the school.  We hope even more people will join us on Thanksgiving  Day than last year."

New this year is the Elementary Point Series, which includes Eldorado Community School and Wood Gormley Elementary as well as Atalaya. The three schools are working together to encourage physical activity throughout the year and acknowledge kids' accomplishments.  Kids can earn points by participating in each school's race and running clinics. The focus is more on participation than speed. Points will be totaled and students recognized in May after the Wood Gormley Elementary Panther Run. All children are invited to partake in free running clinics conducted by the AmeriKenyan Running Club at Atalaya Elementary School, November 20 and 24, 2:30 p.m.

WHAT: Atalaya Elementary Roadrunner Turkey Trot, 5K Run and 1K Fun Run.
WHEN: Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009
5K begins at 9 a.m., 1K begins at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Atalaya Elementary School, 721 Camino Cabra, Santa Fe, NM
REGISTRATION: To register go to Atalayaturkeytrot.com or in person at the following locations: 11/21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bike N Sport, 524 Cordova Rd.; 11/23 and 24, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Atalaya Elementary, 721 Cm. Cabra; 11/25, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Running Hub, 527 Cordova Rd.; 11/26 (Race Day), 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Atalaya Elementary.


Jennifer Marshall