Ohio Summer Spritzer

Yesterday evening, Camelot Winery unveiled it’s new look with a Grand Re-Opening event.  I was lucky enough to get invited not only to the event but to also provide some appetizers as well.

The inside looks completely different and definitely has a more welcome and cozy feel to it now.  You can expect a full post on what’s new soon!  The event was a huge success and many people arrived ready to check out the new look and to sip on some wine.  Luckily I was able to make my way around the place a few times and got a chance to chat with friends and introduce myself to new people.

For the appetizers I made mini cheddar corn fritters using Ohio Sweet corn.  I made 240 little fritters with the expectation that most people would take two.  I don’t know about everyone else but Scott and I definitely had more than two!

To help celebrate the new ownership and new look of Camelot, I put together a summer inspired drink featuring one of their wines.

Andrea’s Ohio Summer Spritzer

  • 1 Bottle of Camelot’s Sonoma Dry Creek Chardonnay
  • 3 Peaches, sliced
  • 1/2C Fresh Raspberries
  • 1/2C Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Liter of Seltzer, refrigerated

In a large pitcher, add fruit and then pour wine over top.  Let chill in fridge for at least six hours before serving.  Gently stir occasionally as the the wine and fruit mingle in the fridge.

When ready to serve, add in the seltzer and gently mix.  Serve and garnish with fruit from the pitcher.

To help keep the drinks cool, freeze some of the blueberries and raspberries.  Add them to the drink when serving, they are decorative and will help keep the drink on the cool and crisp side.

2011 Columbus Race For The Cure

One of the things I did during the blog migration was run a 5K.  My friend Jess contacted me earlier this year asking if I would be interested in running Columbus’s Race for the Cure in May.  She was getting together a group of folks and Team Run, Tweet, Cure was born!  There were 10 of us who met up that morning to get our 5K on.

This was the first time that I’ve ever done this race.  Having been downtown a few times during race day, I knew it was a big deal.  It wasn’t until we walked over there to get ready for the race that I was able to see just what a big deal it was.

Holy crap is basically all I can manage to say.  This race is HUGE.  There’s a small expo that is open to the public that was located on a street adjacent to the start of the race.  We navigated our way through that and managed to find each other again at the start.

We waited and listened to the speeches and then they started releasing the runners in groups.  There are so many people and it’s so crazy at the start that runners, walkers, and everyone else are all mixed in together.  It’s a little chaotic but with as many people as there are during this race, there is really no way to get around that.

Columbus was in a state of transition at this time, wanting to be spring but still holding onto winter as long as it could.  The morning was cool but I knew once I started running that the weather and myself would warm up considerably. This explains my shorts and hoodie combo.

They said that Columbus’s Race for the Cure is the largest race in the nation.  Is this true?  I don’t know, you can decide for yourself.  Please keep in mind, this is just the runners.  And this isn’t everyone.

Click to see the images in full size.

From a running perspective, the runners in the black shirts use of the tagline “Powered By Natural Gas” is probably not the best choice.  Perhaps they should rethink that for next year?

I wasn’t able to see Scott at all until I was in the last stretch of the race.  It’s a 5K and once you hit High Street you are on your way to the finish.  You run down all of High Street and it’s probably the last mile in the race.

All down High Street, local bikers come and line their bikes up to cheer on the runners and walkers.  By bikes I do not mean the two wheeled jobbies with the flower basket and bell.

I mean BIKES. They are all lined up cheering everyone on!  It’s quite a sight to see because there are so many people and bikes!  However, the downside, and maybe I’m just being picky, there are so many of them and for a mile as you’re running all you can breathe in is exhaust.  It’s not very pleasant.  Sorry bikers!

Scott was able to catch me as I was running down High Street towards the finish.

I was ready to be done running by this point.  It was slightly hot that morning after I started and all I was thinking about right now was breakfast.  Ha!

Scott and I had to have a designated meeting spot for after the race or we never would have found each other.  He always finds me at the finish as I’m trying to make my way past all the food and out of the corral.  However, with this race being so large we needed a specific spot to regroup.  We picked one and I was the first to arrive.  I waited for a bit for Scott to make his way over.

I was counting down the minutes because I wanted my chocolate soymilk!

This race was fun and it’s nice to be able to say I was a part of it.  It’s not a race that you’re going to PR at or even come close to doing any kind of “serious” running.  Way too many people for that! And that’s not the point of the race.  The point is to run for fun, run for support, and to run for a reason.

Have you ever run a race like this? Or a race that supported a charity?

Sustainable Food Summit 2011

Last week, on Earth Day, I had the great opportunity to spend the day learning about the future of sustainable food.  The, What is Sustainable Food? Summit, was put together by the OSU chapter of Net Impact and Local Matters.

The goal of the summit was to discuss:

  • What sustainable food is.
  • The future of sustainable food.
  • What people are doing to support the effort.
  • Local businesses who focus on running a greener business.

It was an all day summit starting at 9am and running until 3pm.  The event was put on for free and everyone was welcome to attend. This event was also a Zero Waste event meaning that everything used for food was either compostable or recycleable.

Attendees were also encouraged to bring their own water bottles and coffee mugs.

The summit was held in the 4H building at OSU.  I didn’t get a chance to chat with anyone about the building so unfortunately I can’t provide any stats on it.  I do know that it’s a new building and it’s OSU’s first green building on campus.

One of the presenters at the summit was Warren Taylor from Snowville Creamery. I was excited to see some Snowville half and half provided for the morning coffee.  Real half and half is a nice treat to have in my coffee every so often and if I’m going to do it, then I would prefer it to be from Snowville!

The summit was jam packed with presenters and information.  Two speakers and two panel discussions.

The first speaker was Ken Meter who is from Minnesota. He’s been doing research on sustainable food and the farming efforts across the country.  He was pleased by the efforts he has seen in Ohio and gave some great examples of people who are striving to make a difference.

He talked about:

  • What does sustainable food mean.
  • Where the country is now in terms of food sources.
  • Where it needs to go to become better.

It was an extremely informative lecture! Not only did it provide information on what America needs to do in terms of creating a better food supply, it also discussed how big businesses are in charge of deciding the current diet.

Next up was a panel discussion:

  • Jill Clark – Director Center for Farmland Policy Innovation
  • Jeff Sharp – Professor of Rural Sociology
  • Carol Goland – the Executive Director of OEFFA (I’ve discussed OEFFA previously.).

They each discussed what sustainable food means to them and then answered questions from the audience.  One interesting point they brought up was that the majority of people think our current food system is fine so they don’t consider changing it or seeing a need to change it.

For example, people go to the store where they can purchase everything in one place, and then they go home. It’s easy and convenient therefore they don’t take the time to consider where that food comes from, how it was processed/grown, and how that could directly impact their health.

This is a great point and definitely explains why people are still purchasing factory farmed meat and strawberries from Peru at their local grocery store.

We broke for lunch which was provided by Two Caterers and I was pleased to see there were some vegetarian options available.

After lunch we heard from a panel of local businesses who are striving to create and improve,  best green practices.

On the panel was:

  • Amy Brennick – COO of Betty’s Group of Restaurants
  • Mike Minnix – Eartha Limited
  • Michael Jones – Director of Local Matters and Owner of Greener Grocer
  • Adam Welly – Owner of Wayward Seed Farm

They discussed a lot about their current efforts to be more earth friendly and also brought up goals that each of them have for the current year.  Amy said that Betty’s Group is going to try and become a zero waste group by the end of the year.

That’s huge!

For restaurants to become zero waste is a pretty big deal. I’m excited to see how this progresses and what it means for other restaurants in Columbus.

The last speaker, was Warren and he talked about the fight for sustainable food.  How the government isn’t going to support this effort because it would mean money missing from their wallets.  The government and big corporations don’t care about your health or your right to quality food. They care about money.

It was a pretty intense talk and drove home the fact that we all need to start caring about our food supply a little more because it not only will help us but help future generations.

At the end of the conference I was lucky enough to be able to sample some of Snowville’s new chocolate milk that they are now distributing and selling.  It’s AMAZING! Easily the best chocolate milk I have ever had.  If you’re going to consume dairy, go local and support Snowville (this goes for you too, Cleveland and Cincy!).

The summit provided a great deal of food for thought and I was very happy that I had the chance to attend.  I hope that there are more events like this around Columbus to help raise awareness of the concept of sustainable food and supporting local businesses.

Making burgers with Josh Ozersky

If you recall my post from yesterday, I mentioned that Josh Ozersky would be at the Columbus Home and Garden Show on Thursday of this week.  I got the chance to attend his burger making demo and had a great time!

Amy Weirick was my contact for the evening and I met up with her as I was making my way towards the demo pavilion.  She told me to go right on back through the curtains and introduce myself to Tara, who was working with Amy, and to Josh.

I did just that and I think I surprised everybody!  I tend to have that affect on folks.

I introduced myself and my blog and then introduced Scott.  He was in charge of picture taking for the evening.

They were in the midst of making burgers when I entered backstage and I got a first hand demonstration from Josh on how to make his favorite burgers.  We got to taste two, a cheeseburger and then an onion cheeseburger.

I apologize for lack of pictures of this part! It was dark and we were eating burgers at the time.

It was time for the demo to start and Josh explained briefly how the burger got started and why he loves it.  He also talked to the audience about his three choices of muscle meats that make up his burgers.  He had all three cuts of meats out that he was going to cook up and have all of us in the audience taste.  However the demo stage range wasn’t cooperating fully and those plans got kiboshed.

During the whole demo, Josh was also fielding questions from the audience about his burgers, favorite styles, and his meat choices.

Then Josh went into detail about how to make the perfect burger and I can assure you that the technique isn’t what you are thinking at all.  I was totally surprised and it made me want to head home and make some burgers!

He demoed each of his burgers, the cheeseburger and onion burger, twice, then he brought out samples for the audience.  I have to tell you that the onion burger is my favorite style.  Simple and so very delicious.  The onion burger he created was his first public demonstration of how to make it.  Go Columbus!

He then went on to explain a third burger to us, his version of the Maid-Rite.  Do you know what a Maid-Rite is?

Nobody in the audience did except for me, so I got to go up and explain them! Maid-Rite is a loose meat sandwich of ground beef, which conceptually is like a sloppy-joe except it doesn’t have a tomato based sauce. There are lots of different recipes out there and Josh’s version has beer in it, which you know I’m all about.

He passed those out to the audience too however Scott and I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to taste them.  I should have asked some of the audience members what they thought about it!  I had sloppy-joes and different versions of loose-meat sandwiches a lot growing up.

Josh’s demo was just over an hour and was completely informative on how to make burgers and that the cuts of meats are just as important as well.

I was able to get a chance to speak with him again after the show and thanked him for taking the time to chat with me and show me his burger technique.  He wanted us to have burgers in the photo but there were none to be had so he quickly grabbed a cookie for a prop.

Then we moved to the stage which had better more appropriate props!

Foodies clearly should be holding kitchen implements in photos and ours just happened to be sharp and pointy!

I had a great time at the event and I have Amy to thank for it!

I’ll be talking more about Josh’s burger techniques in some upcoming posts so keep on the lookout for those!

You can find Josh on his website and his twitter page.  If you at all interested in burger making and the history of the burger, snag his book!

Josh Ozersky at the Home and Garden Show

Hey gang! If you haven’t made it to the Home and Garden show yet this week, tonight would be the perfect time to go! Along with seeing all the fabulous things that are new and upcoming for the garden this year, lots of guest appearances are being made at this event.

Tonight, Josh Ozersky will be there giving a demo on making burgers.  He’s a food writer (James Beard award winner!) and wrote a book all about burgers.

We love us some burgers!

He’ll be giving a demo tonight at 6pm in the Bricker Multi-Purpose Building on the Giant Eagle Home Idea Stage.

Scott and I will be there tonight, so if you go, give me a shoutout and we can meet up!

Don’t forget the Home and Garden show wraps up this Saturday! So you only have a few days left to make it over there.

For more information about the Home and Garden show, click here.

Win Tickets to 2011 Columbus Home and Garden Show

It’s spring time! The weather may be damp and dreary but spring is just around the corner. And that means that the Columbus Home and Garden Show is here! This year’s theme is Gardens that Rock and all things that can be done with rocks and stones for your home.

For more information, you can read a Dispatch article on it here.

Want to go?

Lucky for you that OHC is giving away tickets to the show! Good for whatever day you wish to go! I’ve got plenty of tickets to go around so I’ll be picking a few winners via random number generator.

Here’s all the rules and info:

What: FREE tickets to the Home and Garden Show

When: Feb. 26th – March 6th (Closed Feb. 28th)

Where: Ohio Expo Center


  • All you have to do is comment on this post explaining why you’d like to go to the show. I’ll pick a winner on Saturday morning and announce the winners then as well.
  • Contest closes at 9am Saturday, Feb. 26th.
  • You need to provide me with a valid email address so I can contact you.
  • You will have 24 hours to respond to the email, if you do not, I will pick another winner.
  • Contest open to Ohio residents only.

How fun, right?! Maybe I’ll see you at the show!


And the winners are ALL OF YOU!

That’s right friends! I had 8 tickets to give away and you all get one! Hooray!  Have fun at the show! I’ll be in touch. :)

Slow Food Columbus Presents Snowville Butter Making Class

Last week, Nicole emailed me asking if I wanted to attend a butter making class with her.  She had an extra ticket because her mom ended up not being able to go.  I have been interested in making butter for a few weeks now ever since I learned that you can freeze butter.

Did you know this? I did not. It was the one thing preventing me from making my own butter because I would have so much, I wasn’t sure what I would do with it all.  Now that I can freeze butter, BRING IT!

This sister wants to learn how to churn her own butter!

I told Nicole that I would love to attend the class with her and I showed up bright and early (as early as one can be for a 1pm class) on Sunday armed with mason jars ready to fill my brain with butter making knowledge.

Plus I got to spend the afternoon with these two lovely ladies!

Nicole on the left and Wendy on the right.  If you recall, I met Wendy at the Market District opening. I was happy to see her smiling face walk in the door because that meant I got a chance to chat with her and another friend was taking the class!

This class filled up with people coming in long after it started.  This was the third class that Slow Food Columbus and Snowville put on.  Their first two were so successful and sold out quickly, so they decided to add on a third.

The class was led by Snowville representative and honest dairy milk advocate, Warren.  I had the pleasure of sharing a dinner with Warren, gosh two years ago now, at a Hills Market function.  I was very happy to be able to have the chance to attend one of his classes.

The class was two hours long and the majority of the time Warren was talking to us about dairy and the difference between grass-fed and feed-fed dairy.  He gave us a brief history of the dairy industry, what pasteurization for milk means and how Snowville handles their cows and milk.

Once Warren gets going, time can get away from him but only because he’s so passionate about what he does.  The butter making portion of the class ended up being a little rushed but that was okay because we still learned a great deal.

We each brought QT sized mason jars, which were then filled about 1/3 of the way with Snowville Whipping Cream.  We sealed the lids up tight and got our shimmy-shake on.  You can make whipped cream and butter just by shaking a jar.  Did you know that?  I shook and shook and then my cream entered the whipped cream stage.

Don’t stop there! Keep going!

Keep going and then the cream will break and separate into two elements, butter and buttermilk.

Once we got to this stage we stopped and were instructed to finish the process at home.  They were also demonstrating the process at the kitchen.

This huge jar of whipped cream was going to be transferred to a stand mixer so that it could be taken to the next stage of separation.

Once separation occurs, drain off the buttermilk and squeeze the butter to release more buttermilk.  Then you repeat the process a few times and you have butter!

Basic explanation but I intend to do a more in-depth one all about butter.

When I got home I drained off the buttermilk from the mason jar and rinsed off the butter until all the buttermilk was released.  I was left with fresh butter!

Spread on bread and enjoy!

Have you ever made your own butter? Are you interested in learning?

2010 Muddy Feet Trail Race

It was Thursday of last week that I learned about the Muddy Feet trail race that was happening on Saturday.  I was talking on Twitter about trail running and about another race I have planned for next month.  My twitter friend, Emily, said that she didn’t think the race was a trail race per say but just went around the perimeter of the park.

Well that’s kind of a bummer, right?  She said she and her husband were running the Muddy Feet trail run on Saturday and it was on an actual trail.

I totally signed up.

I may or may not be addicted to trail running which may or may not be the reason why I signed up right away at the last minute.

We are lucky here in Columbus because we not only have a thriving bustling city but we also have parks and water very close by.  This race was taking place at Alum Creek and there were two distances to pick from,  4.5 miles or 6.5 miles.

You know which one I picked.

Scott and I were determined to not be a hot mess for this race and we almost succeeded!  I totally forgot something which I’ll mention soon.

Saturday was an extremely foggy morning with a weather advisory out for most of the morning.  It was the densest fog I have seen so far during my time here in Ohio.

We arrived early and used the bathroom which you can see behind me in the first picture.  Basically the bathroom is a fancy outhouse.  Three stalls, no lights, and a smell to knock you on your ass.  It was a bit chilly and since I had 1/2 an hour before the race started we went back to the car to sit.

About 15 minutes till start time I headed back to the bathroom and discovered that if you used the stall closest to the door, the smell wasn’t so bad thanks to fresh air blowing in.  I also had to wrestle with my pants because the strings knotted up.  I did a quick warmup jog around the parking lot and then headed to the start.  Check out that fog!

We were told that there would be two water stations but I didn’t hear the details on those.  The cap was 400 people for the race but I’m pretty sure there were not 400 people entered.  I don’t know how many people were there but it was a small race, probably the smallest I have run in so far.

It wasn’t long after we crossed the start and headed down the trail that I realized what I forgot, my watch!  Doh!  This meant I had no concept of time or pace at all during my run.

Emily said that it could be really muddy so I made sure to wear my old winter running pants and old grungy socks.  My shoes I didn’t worry about since I’m heading into winter, they are going to get snow and salt gunk on them anyway.

About 5 minutes or so in to the race, we circled back around past the start.  Scott and I didn’t think we’d see each other again so he headed back to the car already and I missed him.  I was a little bummed out but understood.  Plus if you weren’t running, it was really cold outside because the fog made things damp.

The trail run was great!  It was all grass trails with rolling hills sprinkled throughout.  It wasn’t as intense as the Buckeye Classic but still a challenging course.  Where Highbanks had trails that were gravel and dirt and packed earth, Alum creek was straight grass trails.  However there were leaves everywhere making things slippery if you didn’t pay attention.  There were also lots of tree roots and branches to watch out for.  There were drain pipes, dips, and holes to jump over, and big tire grooves that made it impossible to get even footing.

You were constantly watching your balance, making sure you didn’t slip or tumble downhill, and pushing yourself up the hills.  The trail was pretty wide so there was no worries about feeling squished.

I felt like I was running really slowly but the upside to trail running is that pace doesn’t matter because you are dealing with so many other things, pace goes out the window.

I was behind two girls for the first half of the race.  The pace was decent and so I paced them until the first water station.  It was at the point where the 4.5ers split from the 6.5ers.  They were running the 4.5 and were gone at the split.  A lot of people were gone at the split actually.  After that point I was mostly running by myself.  There were two girls behind me and a fella in front of me but we were all spread pretty far apart.

Even though the start had been really cold, I got hot during the run!  OY! I unzipped my sweatshirt as much as I could.  My running bib was attached so I couldn’t take off the sweatshirt.  I pushed up my sleeves and eventually took off my gloves.  I had to carry those since I didn’t have anywhere to stash them.  That was annoying but what can you do?  Push on through!

Finally came up on the second water station and I asked what mile we were at.  He said it was about the 5.2 mile mark.  Whooo!  Not too much farther and I would have my second trail run of the season (my third in my running career) under my belt.

There were a few more hills and then a lovely long flat section in an open field.  As I circled back around into the woods a guy came running past telling me the finish was less than a quarter mile away.


Yeah so close!

Then I spotted Scott and our friends, Emily and Jim standing on the sidelines.

When I spotted my finish time you could have knocked me over with a feather.  6.5 trail miles completed in 1:10, hell yeah!

Then I got more surprises once I crossed the finish line.

The person congratulating me at the finish was actually a Daily Mile friend, Rebecca!  We even live in the same town but haven’t had a chance to meet before now.  She works for Premier races on the weekends doing the time.  Nice, right?

Or course she caught me right at the finish so it took my brain a second to realize that I was having a conversation.  Ha!

My surprises weren’t finished yet!  She told me I won a prize!

I placed third in my age group.  Whoooo!  That’s my first ever prize I won at a race!

I walked over to where everyone was standing and chatted with them for a bit.  Emily and Jim are Twitter friends turn real-life friends and the bonus is that they are runners too!

We were all getting cold and headed off back to our cars to get back home.

No medal for this race so you get a picture of me with my chocolate soymilk in my snazzy JayRobb travel bottle that I won from Kim’s site.

If you’re looking to get into trail running or want to try out a race to see if you like it, I highly recommend running Muddy Feet.  Not only do you get to choose your distance but the trail is great for an intro into trail running.

Will I run it again?  For sure!

2010 Buckeye Classic

The Buckeye Classic is a 10K trail race that I stumbled across a few weeks ago and decided to sign up for.  I love 10Ks, probably my favorite to race and I wish that Columbus had more of them.  We either have a ton of 5Ks in the spring/summer or they are halfs.  In the summer when my mileage is higher, I don’t want to sacrifice a long run for a 5K race.  In the winter when my mileage is lower and it’s a lot colder, running 5ks and four milers are perfect!  You get to race and you’re not out in the cold very long.

10Ks are great for summer, fall, and early winter racing!  Please Columbus, put on more 10Ks!

Anyway, I saw this race was a trail race and decided to go for it.  Then for some reason I got it stuck in my head that it was going to be all paved trail running.

Rest assured that it was in fact NOT all paved.  In fact the paved parts were few and far between.  This was a hardcore trail race.  I say hardcore because to me it was hardcore.  I don’t run on trails, like, at all.  I run in my neighborhood so running through the woods, over bridges, down and up steep-ass hills is pretty intense for me.

And that’s how trail racing is, intense!  If you have the chance to run one I highly recommend giving it a try!  We can talk more about trail runs in another post though, let’s get to the recap!

Would you believe that Scott and I were another hot mess for this race?  It’s like we’ve lost all racing sensibilities!    We wanted to leave by 8am because the race started at 9am and the course was about 1/2 an hour away to the north.  I wanted to have plenty of time to hit the restroom and then try and meetup with my Twitter Friend, Jess.  We’ve been trying to meet for ages  and our schedules just were not syncing up.  Finally we realized we were both running this race and set out plans to meet before the race started.

Well Scott and I didn’t leave at 8am though it was close.  We got just down the road from the house when I realized that I forgot my bib!  Yikes!  So we had to turn around and get that.  On the way back to the house, Scott realized we forgot the chocolate soymilk for after the race.  We were off to a great start.

We made it to the park and were directed on where to park the car.  We had a good walk ahead of us it seemed and thankfully we passed some restrooms on the way.  We each made a quick stop and then kept on walking.  Scott asked if we should run and I said we should be fine.  Coming up to an intersection where the park ranger was directing traffic, we asked how far away the start was and she said about a mile down the road.

Holy crap!

So yeah we ran to the start.  I made it to the start with two minutes to spare.  Quick kisses to Scott and I started working my way through the crowd so I could inch my way up to the front.

As I was moving through the crowd, I heard my name and turned to find Jess!  Yeah!  We found each other after all!  We chatted and then it was time to get moving.  This was a small race, 550 people but I still wanted to work my way through the crowd and break free a bit.

I took off and started running in the grass passing everyone that I could.  If you click on the picture you’ll see lil’ old me on the far right side.

Scott and I weren’t sure if we would see each other until the end because the course map was a little unclear about that.  However I saw him again right away, maybe a mile in?

I was surprised to see Scott so soon!  And then this is when the race got hard.  We headed deep into the woods and we got there by going up.

I blew on by Scott not realizing what was ahead of me.

A huge hill.  We crossed a bridge and started the climb to the top which you can’t see at all from this picture but trust me it was big.  It was at this point that I realized I got myself into a very challenging race.  I also told myself that I should have had a bigger pre-race snack to help through this course.

The course took us all over the place and there were lots of hills along the way.  Some big and some small.  The small ones were rolling, you’d go up, then down, then back up again.

At one point during the race we came along some steps.  Yikes!  This was after going up and then down a rather large hill.  Steps?!  I took those slowly and I’m proud to say that was the only time I was going at like a walking pace.

The one big downside to this race is that there were no mile markers at all until you got to the three mile point and someone was there directing the runners.  This was because we were at a crossover so runners were both coming and going.  Admittedly running past runners who already covered the area you’re about to head into can be a tad of a motivational killer.  You just have to suck it up and keep going.

Once I reached that crossover point again, there was a guy standing there telling us we just reached 4 miles and I knew that couldn’t be right.  The area we just covered was LONG and I knew we ran more than a mile!  I asked a runner behind me if I heard that guy right and she said that he was wrong and we were at about 4.5 miles.

I still felt like we had been running longer!  At the finish Scott said that point was just shy of the five mile mark.  Aha!  I knew it!

That area finished with us coming down a huge hill and I heard the music from the start area so I thought we were close to finishing.  I knew I was going to see Scott again and I was ready to knock this race out and be done.

Coming down that hill felt amazing so I was giving it my all!

Then I spotted Scott!  YaY!  If you compare this picture to the first one of me waving, you can tell that in this one I’m tired.  Ha!  I was ready to be done running the trails!

Little did I know that I wasn’t done nor was I close to being done.


You know how much of a buzz kill that is?  We had like another 1.5 miles to go before we were done.

Yes that’s right! At least it was all flat and mostly paved but still dang.

The finish shoot was right in front of me and I gave it everything that I had left in me.  I saw Scott on the side but just blew past him.  The only thing on my mind was finishing strong!

Hooray the finish line!  I was so happy to be done!

After I was done the first thing I did was look for Scott.  Since I saw him on the side, I knew he was close by.  Then I remembered to get my medal!


I loved everything about this race.  Yes it was hard but that is exactly what I loved about it.  I felt amazing when I was done, totally had a runner’s high which I don’t get at all unless I do sprints.  The downside is that there are no mile markers so you can start to wonder if you’ll ever make the finish.  I think with a GPS device though that would be helpful or running it with a buddy.

It was chilly so it was perfect trail running weather because tackling all those hills works up a sweat!

It worked out that I had to run about a mile to the start because it helped warmed my legs up.  Had I started with no warm-up, I think I would have struggled more with those hills.

I went into this race with zero expectations other than to have a good time.  I didn’t care what my pace was because it’s a trail race which I’m not used to running therefore my pace is already going to be off.  Going into a race expecting nothing is like being free of constraints.  You don’t have anything weighing over your head and you aren’t constantly checking your watch to determine your pace.  You are just running for the pure joy of running and having a great experience.

I think I might start approaching all my races this way from now on.  I have a much better time!

I would race this again in a heartbeat and I’m already trying to recruit others.  Wanna run it with me next year?  If you say yes, I’ll hold you to it!

Event: Grand Opening of Market District at Kingsdale

I’ve been working on this post for quite sometime and have finally come to the conclusion that it needs to be broken up into two parts.  Otherwise it was way too long and I don’t want my dear readers to have to sift through a novel of a post.  Therefore, my experience with the new Market District at Kingsdale is going to be explained in two parts.  The first will talk about the event I attended and the second will talk more in-depth about the store and what it has to offer our city of Columbus, Ohio.

I was contacted by Donna, who is head of online marketing at Giant Eagle, inviting me to attend the Grand Opening event of the new Market District.  I had heard a few rumblings about this store coming to Ohio a little over the summer but really didn’t think much about it.  When I was contacted about the grand opening, I was more than excited to get a chance to see the store firsthand on opening day and to be considered a VIP guest!

The itinerary was jam packed and lasted the majority of the day.  I was surprised by that and was wondering how that would work but they did keep us busy all day!

I arrived at the store at 9am and was greeted right away by Donna.  She offered to treat me to a drink while we waited for the other bloggers to arrive.

I already had my fill of coffee that morning, but I did spy a hot spiced apple cider on the menu so I ordered that.  It was so yummy!  Piping hot and full of fall flavor.

We headed upstairs to the new dining area and into a small conference room.  I met up with the other bloggers that were in attendance.

Lisa from Restaurant Widow

Becke from Columbus Foodie

Wendy from Celiacs in the House

Each link is to their recap of the event.

They had breakfast waiting for us upstairs but since I had a huge bowl of oats before leaving, I passed on breakfast.  It looked amazing though, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, bagels, and donuts.  Wendy asked if there were any Gluten-Free bagels and they went in search to find her one.  Not only did they find some, but they heated them up in the pizza oven for her.

They made sure to change gloves, use a different paddle, and place it on foil while it toasted.

That’s hospitality!

During breakfast, us bloggers chatted a bit about blogging and of course food because we all love food!

Once breakfast passed, we were taken downstairs, through the produce section and over to the new demo kitchen.  There a stage was set up for the press event about the grand opening.

I had never been to a press event before so it was interesting to see those sitting in the audience and all the cameras in the background recording everything for news bits later in the day.  After some of the big wigs from Giant Eagle spoke, Ted Strickland, the Governor gave a speech about the new store and the jobs it brought to Central Ohio.

After Gov. Strickland, next up was one of Columbus’s biggest fans.

I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Yes, Adam Richman has been to Columbus many times and considers it one of his favorite cities.  He gave a speech about the new store and the amazing amount of food and opportunities it is bringing with it.

After Adam spoke there was the official ribbon cutting ceremony and then the media event was over.  We were taken back upstairs to the conference area and got a chance to have a small chat with Mr. Richman before he was ushered off for his other duties of the day.  He was very nice, very chatty, and extremely down to earth.  I was impressed, honestly.

Once Adam was off, we were given gift cards and told to have whatever we wanted for lunch.  I wanted to attack the salad bar!

They have two gigantic cold bars and I wanted to dig into some veggie goodness!

I had a salad and also a smoothie from the smoothie/juice bar.  Not many grocery stores have a juice bar and I was extremely happy to see such an offering!  I created my own juice with:

  • Orange and pineapple juice
  • Banana and peaches
  • Organic yogurt

It was tasty and hit the spot with my nice fresh salad.

We got a chance to chat some more during lunch and were able to chat with the marketing group as well.  They are all about embracing local resources and talking with locals to get feedback on how to make the store the best it can be.  That is a reassuring thing to know because when a company wants to connect with the community, the community is more willing to support and stand by it.

After lunch, we were given an in-depth tour of the entire store by Market District’s head chef, John Gruver.  He walked us through the store giving us the rundown on the foods that the store provides, not only in the prepared foods section but also throughout the store.

He was such a trooper taking on four food bloggers full of questions about everything!  We walked around that store probably for at least an hour and a half learning, asking, and chatting.  Plus the store is huge so it takes quite some time to get through it!

After our tour, our time at the store was over.  While I was waiting for Scott to pick me up, I browsed the wine and beer section.  I took pictures and I made notes of beers I would like to try in the future.  I’m sure people thought I was a bit odd standing there with my notebook!

The marketing folks made sure we didn’t leave empty-handed though, and gave us a nice swag bag on our way out!


It was a long day but I had a blast and I’m happy to have gotten a chance to see and learn about the store first hand.

Stay tuned for an OHC tour of the store!

Disclaimer: Market District invited me to the event, fed me, and provided me with a goodie bag. I was not paid or compensated for this review.  My opinion is my own.