Wine Tasting At Camelot Cellars

You should know by now how much I love Camelot Cellars which is a wine bar/boutique located in the Short North area of Columbus. In case you don’t know, you can read more about Camelot and how to use some of their wine.

It’s a great place to go for a relaxing evening or afternoon of sipping wine.  Plus with the remodel (which I’ll be talking about in another post!), there’s more comfortable seating along with free wifi access.

Business meetings can be a lot more fun and have a higher attendance rate if you meet some place casual.

Scott and I recently purchased a Groupon for a wine tasting for two and took advantage of that one evening.

The wine tasting is a very intimate and detailed experience. If you want to learn more about wines and how they are made, Camelot has exactly what you’re looking for.

You sample six wines, providing you with a taste of different styles of wines.

The wines picked for the tasting rotate so it is not the same thing all the time. This not only encourages the ability to have repeat visits but also means you’ll have opportunities to learn even more about wine.

With each sample of wine you get a full description plus a detailed outline of how that style of wine is made.  You also get to learn where that style originated from and how what you are drinking might be a tad different from what you’ve had in the past.

By sampling wines, you gain experience and a chance to expand your palate.

It’s also a very relaxing setting! There’s no rush to sample wines, you can take as long as you like and ask as many questions as you like.  The staff at Camelot are extremely knowledgeable and will help you with anything that you need.

One of Camelot’s main goals is to help you learn about wine and help you discover new wines along the way.

All the wines at Camelot are made in house and several of them are award winning wines. Stop in to have a glass or call up Rick to set up a tasting.  You won’t be disappointed!  When you stop in, tell them I said Hi!

Camelot Cellars
958 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
t: @CamelotWines f: Camelot Wines

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.

Dash for Donation 2011

I was contacted recently by a rep from Lifeline of Ohio, telling me about the Dash For Donation 5K, which is a race that takes place in Columbus.  I didn’t know anything about this race and in fact had never even heard of it or Lifeline until I was contacted.  I’m really glad they took the time to tell me about this race because I think it’s a great one that needs to be mentioned.

Lifeline Ohio, is an organization that promotes organ and tissue donation and transplant. From Lifeline of Ohio’s website:

Our mission is to educate and empower central and southeastern Ohioans about organ and tissue donation while also facilitating the donation process.

Everything you have wanted to know about organ and tissue donation can be found on their website.  If you’re curious or interested in learning more, please click over and check them out.

The Dash for Donation is their 5K that they put on to help raise awareness of donation and to show support for those that have been impacted in some way by organ and tissue donation.

The day of the race, those that have been touched by organ/tissue donation in some way, wear green shirts to honor that.  From what I was told, there is a large number of people who have been helped in some way through donations from others. This year they expect at least 3,000 people for this race and most of them will be wearing green.

Lifeline asked me if I would run this race and blog about it. I’m out with a hip injury at the moment and don’t think I’ll be running by race day.  However because I fully support organ and tissue donation, I told them that I would help spread the word about their race and organization.

Race Details:

The Dash for Donation takes place on July 9th and it’s not too late to register. Proceeds go to Lifeline of Ohio’s outreach and educational programs.

If you support organ and tissue donation, or have had your life touched in some way because of a donation, this would be a great race to participate in.

Happy running Columbus!

Hills Market Delivers

The Hills Market is located along the bike path in Worthington which is north of Columbus.  The Hills Market is a gem because they feature a lot of Ohio products and produce.  They work very hard to find and get these products to consumers.  We all want to support local as much as possible and Hills helps us make that connection.

The Hills also hosts all kinds of events from happy hours to wine tastings to cooking classes.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending happy hours, parties, and a dinner party at the Hills.  All events were fantastic and you have to love a dinner party where you get to eat in the wine section of the store!

The Hills Market recently launched a delivery program called Hills On The Go.  You can order items online and they will deliver them right to your door!  Or you have the option of in-store pickup, allowing you to swing in and grab your groceries and go.

I had the pleasure of trying out the service and I have to say that I was really happy with it!  I ordered items off of the website, paid with a credit card, and in a few hours the groceries were sitting on my front porch.  I even ordered a white wine and it was chilled upon arrival.


The majority of all of the items that Hills carries are listed on the website.  Plus you have to option of browsing Ohio only products and picking out what you like.  There is a delivery fee which is based on location.  The farther you are from The Hills, the higher the delivery fee.  However, The Hills does delivery to the majority of Columbus and it’s surrounding areas, so chances are they deliver to you too! Making a local Ohio store more available and accessible to others is a fantastic idea.

A great part of this new program is that it can be used by parents who have college age kids.  They can set up an account with Hills and put money into the account.  When their child needs groceries, they can either go to the Hills and shop or have the items delivered to them.  This way they don’t over spend and the parents can guarantee that the money they are handing out actually goes toward food and supplies.  I would have loved something like this in college!

Definitely check out The Hills Market and have a look at their new delivery system!

The Hills Market
7860 Olentangy River Road Columbus, OH 43235

Disclaimer: I paid for the groceries myself.  The delivery fee was waived to try out the new program. I was not obligated to write a review and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Shopping at Farmer’s Markets

Ah Farmer’s markets, a glorious time of year! With long dreary winter that Columbus goes through, the farmer’s markets are a very welcome sight. It signifies that winter is over and we are about to head into an abundance of amazing food stuffs.

Scott and I headed up to the Worthington Farmer’s Market on opening day.  It was gorgeous outside with Mother Nature deciding to give us a break from all the rain we had been dealing with.  We met up with our friend Bob early that morning to walk around.  He left us early though to go attend to his girly things (love you Bob!) so Scott and I grabbed some breakfast.

I would explain to you my love for sausage but somehow I’m pretty sure that is going to get twisted around into something entirely different than what I mean. Instead I’ll just tell you how much I love a good breakfast sandwich.

It’s completely true, a breakfast sandwich is such a comforting meal and much to my delight, there was a food truck making these babies up that morning.

Speckled Hen Farms had a food truck dishing out all kinds of sandwich fixin’s made fresh and with ingredients straight from their farm.  I had a egg and chicken sausage sandwich with pepperjack cheese.  All local (except for the cheese I believe) and super tasty!

After breakfast we made our way around the market.  I got a chance to pick up some veggies and purchase something I haven’t used before.

Maple sugar! Dried maple syrup so that the sugar crystals are left.  If you add water to it, you’ll reconstitute it back to syrup.  Pretty nifty, right?  I bought some and have used it experimentally in some pancakes.  It smells heavenly! It has a very deep and dense maple aroma.

I’m not a weekly farmer’s market shopper though I wouldn’t mind turning into one. I would much rather stroll outside early in the morning looking at food than having to go inside a building with fake light, fake mist, and light rock blaring over the speakers.

The upside to farmer’s markets is that you can get exposed to things that you didn’t know were in your area.  That’s always a win for everyone!

Do you shop your local farmer’s markets? What’s your favorite part of shopping at farmer’s markets?

Camelot Cellars

My friend Janine recently bought and took over Camelot Cellars earlier this year.  Having a friend who owns a wine shop is a beautiful thing, in case you were wondering.

Camelot Cellars is a boutique winery located in the Short North district of downtown Columbus. Camelot is a winery in that they create and bottle their own wines.  However they do not have a vineyard in Ohio.  They buy juices from all over the world and then create the wine in-house from those juices.

This means that when you buy an Italian Pinot Grigio (which happens to be my favorite white), you are getting exactly that.  A lovely wine that was created from juice directly from Italy.

Calling Camelot a boutique winery is accurate because it is way more than a place that sells wines.  It has so much to offer its customers.

You can go to Camelot for a relaxing moment and enjoy a glass of wine or two.  You can try flights of wine.  You can schedule to have your very own tasting. Either as lovely intimate date or with a group of friends. You can have small business meetings at Camelot and discuss financials over a burgundy.

Camelot also provides free wifi to it’s customers!

You can meet a group of friends for drinks and to catch up.

Camelot has a lot of award winning wines that you will be able to taste and try out. Brendan or Rick will be there to take care of you and if you tell them I sent you, you might get an extra little splash in your glass.**

**Probably not, but at least you’ll get a smile and a nod confirming that yes, they know that goofy lady.

You can even take it one step further and create your own wines.

Oh yes friends, you can custom blend your own wines. This is one of the many upsides to Camelot producing and bottling their own wines.  It allows customers the freedom to try their hand at blending wines as well.

If you don’t want to blend a wine, you also have the option of creating custom wine labels for a party or event that you’re having.  Camelot can also be rented for wine parties which is great for maybe fundraising efforts or a great way to spend a birthday or bachelorette party.  You can have a wine party for any reason!  You’ll pick out a wine and then you can customize a label.  Camelot has a few examples at their shop and someone will be there to help you along in creating and then labeling your wine.

Now that you know a little of what Camelot is about, I have to tell you that Camelot will be changing! Not the concept, just the interior. Don’t worry! Janine has big plans for the inside and it’s getting completely made over.  The bar will be bigger and there will be lots of comfy chairs and little intimate nooks and crannies so that customers can go in and feel cozy as they have their wines.

I’m lucky because Janine wants the process documented and I get to do just that!  Whooo! So look for more pictures later this month as we sneak in and take some pictures of the demo and remodeling process.  I have lots of before pics (these are just a few) so I should be able to do some side-by-side comparisons.

The huge Grand RE-Opening of Camelot Cellars will be on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 from 6pm-9pm.  There will also be valet parking as well, so no worries about where you’ll park downtown!  Yours truly will be there and I’ll be providing some healthy and fun hors d’oeuvres.  Come chat with me, meet Janine, and check out Camelot Cellars!

Camelot Cellars
958 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Call or stop in and speak with Janine or Rick who will help you out with any questions you have.  They will still be open during renovations and you will be able to try some wines or set up an event.

2011 Warrior Dash Ohio

Sunday started bright and early for Scott and I as we got up to prepare ourselves for the first Ohio Warrior Dash weekend. For those that aren’t familiar with the Warrior Dash, I’ll explain briefly.  It’s a 3 mile trail race that has obstacles along the way.  The obstacles vary race to race, but to get an idea, think of like a military boot-camp style obstacle course.

There’s fire, water, ropes, and mud, all of which you have to make your way through in order to get to the finish.  Oh and barbed wire, you know, just for kicks.

For the first Ohio series this race was located in Logan, Ohio which is just south of Columbus in the Hocking Hills area.  As thousands and thousands of people descended on Logan this past weekend, I’m pretty sure it’s still trying to figure out what hit it.  Though I bet the cabin rentals got a huge upswing in reservations and aren’t complaining one bit about being invaded for the weekend.

Scott and I ran on Sunday with the 9:30am wave. We met friends of ours there and ran the course together.  This was Scott’s very first race! Way to start off with a bang, right?!

Unfortunately the only pictures I have are these pictures from the day after.  Booo!  I brought my point-n-shoot camera and took some lovely pictures of us before and some fabulous pics of us afterwards. However once back to the car I lost the camera and now it’s gone forever.  I put it on the roof while I changed and forgot about it. It was a Christmas present from Scott a few years ago and I’m really upset that it’s gone.

So this is all you get along with a recap of the race.  Sorry about that but I promise that you are way less bummed out than I am.  No pics from Scott’s first race ever? Okay, so bummed is a really light way of describing my mood.

Our race started right at 9:30am complete with fire being launched off of the start banner.  We crossed the start line over some rubber mats and Scott joked that those were our first obstacles.  I guess technically the first obstacle was this huge hill that we walked up for probably 10 minutes?  We were able to jog up it a good part of the way but then it got a little too muddy and jogging stopped.  Once we reached the top, we had to come back down and the hill was just as steep down as it was up.

After trying to navigate it carefully, I finally said “eff it”, sat down and slid the rest of the way down in the mud.  Scott was ahead of me and still very clean at this point so I did my best to make him less clean.

The trail was very very muddy.  The area got a ton of rain the night before so the trail was basically a mess.  It wasn’t safe to actually run it because it was hard to get traction with all the mud.  Walking carefully was the best that we could do and our whole group was walking.  Even walking was tricky and I fell twice.

The obstacles were spread apart and once you got to one, you were kind of happy not to be in mud any more.  I’m just going to list the obstacles that we did and I’ll try to list them in order but I can’t remember the exact order of things

A section of hanging tires that you had to navigate your way through.  This wasn’t hard at all but you did have to keep an eye out in case some jackhole tore through before you and pushed tires your way.  The woman in front of me caught a tire just in time before it knocked straight into her face.  You guessed it, some jackhole went through before her leaving the tires swinging like mad.

There was a section that had four walls, slightly taller than waist high that you had to jump/crawl over then a lower barbed wire wall that you had to go under.  Repeat about 4 times I think.

There was a small pond that had logs chained across it.  You had to get into the pond and swim your way across making sure to crawl over the logs.  This one was tricky because the water was deep so you were swimming and treading water to get to each log.  I didn’t even know there were logs in the water because it was so muddy and very wavy that I didn’t see them.  Scott was ahead of me and turned around yelling that I needed to becareful of the logs.  What? And then I got smacked with a log.


The logs were only maybe 15 feet in length (fully guessing, I couldn’t see them very well), then the rest of it was chain attached to the side of the pond somewhere.  Where the chain connected to the log was a square metal plate that stuck out a bit. The idea was to push the log down into the water and swim over it.  They would immediately pop back up once they were cleared.  I thought I could go over the part where the chain was but I got caught up and the log popped back up before I could get over catching me in the right groin area with the square metal piece.

I figured out that you had to time the logs just right or you would get smacked.  I paired up with other people going across so we could all push the logs down together.  Once across I was finally able to catch back up with my friends!

We got to a section that had a bunch of old cards parked bumper to bumper in pairs of twos.  You had to either go through them or over them.  In between the pairs of cars were a bunch of old tires that you had to walk on or run across like how football players run tires.  I was so wet and slippery from the pond that I thought I was going to fall but I didn’t.  YaY!

I got to the end and went to catch up with everyone else, then SPLAT. I totally slipped in the mud and fell face first.  Umph!

Water stop! I grabbed water and was on my way.

Long muddy walk up a hill and then there was a bungee cord section. I was able to life the cords up and over my head.  One guy in front of me was weaving through them, going up and under and crawling.  Pfffftttt! Why crawl when you can just lift them over your head?  Goodness.

There was a box that was about 4 feet high and who knows how long.  We had to crawl through that and this is where my legs and knees got scraped up.

There was a huge hill that we had to down after that and it was way easier to slide your way down and that’s just what I did.  Down all the way!  Then we came up on a cargo net wall.  You climbed up, over, and then back down.  I have no idea how high the wall was but I can tell you that I wouldn’t have wanted to fall off of it.

Then there was a series of planks.  Up, across, down, up, and down again.  I took this super careful because my feet were so jam packed with mud that I had no traction.

After that was a wooden plank wall thing we had to climb down into a creek and wade our way through.  Then it was up another plank thing and on to the next obstacle!

This was a wall that had a rope on it that you climbed up and over, and down the other side.

We came up on some cargo nets again only this time we had to navigate them across instead of climbing them up and down.  Two sections and then a climb down.

We could hear music and knew we were on our way to the finish!

Running down the finish shoot you had to jump over fiery coals twice and then dive into the mud crawl.  You had to crawl this because you had to go under barbed wire.  Then that was it and you survived the Warrior Dash!

We were completely muddy from head to foot and that is no exaggeration.  It was such a great fun event though! We all went in with no expectations other than to finish and have a good time.  I did think we would be running from obstacle to obstacle but due to the mud that wasn’t the case at all, and that’s okay!  It was a great workout and challenge even without the running.

We hosed off with super cold water, donated our muddy shoes, and walked to the buses to take us back to the parking area.  We changed and headed back home.  I was doing okay after the race but on the way back home I was getting really tired and worn out.

After we got home it was all I could do to keep my eyes open and finally around 4ish, I gave in and settled down for a nap.  I slept for about 1/2 an hour but it did help a bit.  I was amazed that Scott wasn’t tired at all, considering we had to get up at 5am.  It eventually caught up with him though and by 9pm he was toast.  He went to bed at 10:30, which for someone who’s normal bedtime is somewhere around the 3am mark, you knew he was worn out!

I have one bruise on my right thigh, my groin area being sore from the log, and then scrapes and cuts on my knees, elbows, and one on my hand.  Not too shabby! I walked away from it in really great shape.

We had a great time and if it wasn’t for the missing camera, the day would have been perfect.  Would we do it again?

We’re already making plans.

How about you? You wanna become a warrior?

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?

2011 Cap City Quarter Marathon

Saturday, May 7th was this year’s Cap City Half Marathon.  This happens to be my favorite race in Columbus.  It was the first half I ever ran so naturally it holds a special plate in my heart.

The past two years I have run this half but this year I did not.  It was not in the cards this year for me to have time to train properly for a May half. Once I realized this I was terribly bummed out.  I can’t even tell you how much it bothered me to know that I wouldn’t be running in this year’s Cap City half.

Then the race coordinators decided to add a “Quarter Marathon” to this year’s race.  That means there was the half, the quarter, and a 5K.

I signed up for the quarter because I knew that I would be able to run that no problem.  I was sad to not be running the half but at least I still got to participate in my favorite race.

I’m in the magenta shirt and white hat.

I thought I was going to have a repeat from Columbus Marathon and start super late.  We did not leave late but the traffic was really backed up. It didn’t occur to me that since the quarter race was added this year that that would result in a bump up of participants.  The wait on the highway to get off the highway was close to half an hour.  Yikes!

We parked in our super secret parking spot (no I’m not telling so don’t ask, it’s a secret!) and walked over to the race.  I had trouble finding the bathrooms and finally saw them all the way on the other side of the start corrals.

Seriously?! They definitely needed to be closer.

I sprinted over to the bathrooms and waited in line.  And waited.  And waited.  Then I sprinted all the way back to the start corrals and tried to weave my way in.  I made it just in time, a few minutes before they released the corral I was in to start the race.

I started the race and didn’t look back.

With the low running that I’ve had lately thanks to weather, this wasn’t a super easy run for me.  It was challenging! I also decided to push myself and run my heart out. I didn’t even know how far I was running! I didn’t know if they would just make this a 10K = 6.2 miles or if they would literally cut 13.1 in half.  I only knew that I would be running 6ish miles and told Scott I’d see him in about an hour.

The weather was overcast with a slight chill.  It was maybe just below 50F as it’s always colder downtown than it is everywhere else.  It was nice running weather though because it was warm enough that you didn’t get cold while running.

I stopped for water at the first aid station.  I always stop for water at the first stop for all races I do (unless it’s a very small race) because my mouth is always dry from adrenaline and nerves. As I was about to take a drink of water some chick plowed into me causing me to spill my water.

Lovely.  I still had some left in my cup, so I sipped and took off.

The quarter marathon ran with the halfers up to about mile 3, I think, and then we split off from each other.  It was a huge split too, not many of us went to the right following the quarter route.  In my mind I waved goodbye to the half, told it that I would see it next year,  and continued on with my quarter journey.

It was a much smaller crowd and that goes for both runners and spectators.  That’s okay, the half is the big event so I can understand the low support for the quarter.  There were some along the path and it was nice to see them.

I was hot during the run and since I felt like I was running my heart out, I was really huffing and puffing. That’s not to say my breathing was off, it was perfectly fine.  It was related more to the fact that I was trucking it and breathing more.

I could see a huge stream of people running perpendicular to the road that I was on and realized that we were merging with the halfers again.  I actually didn’t think I would see them again at all. As we were coming in off a side street and merging with the other runners, I could tell they were confused and curious as to what we were doing.

I promise we weren’t cheating! Some of them actually gave me that kind of look!

The mile 5 mark was an amazing thing to see.  I knew the race was close to being done and I knew that I gave it my all and would finish strong.

The downside to this race is that I didn’t get to see Scott at all along the way. I’m so used to seeing him at some point during my race that not being able to see him really bummed me out.  I realized that, for me, it’s nice having that support system there during a race.  Knowing that someone is standing there cheering for you and proud of you is a great feeling to have.  Without it, it seems odd and I didn’t like it.

I knew he would be at the finish though!

At close to the quarter’s 6 mile marker, we split off again from the halfers and I knew this would be the home stretch. There was another water stop and I quickly stopped for a drink.  I must have looked like a hot mess because one of the volunteers asked me if I was alright.  Ha!  I was drinking so I gave him a thumbs up and went on my way.

Since I knew the finish was close I decided I could sprint the rest of the way.

I didn’t even see Scott as I was running to cross the finish. In fact I didn’t see anything or anybody because I was so focused on sprinting and focused in on crossing that finish line.

So focused that I didn’t even realize I was elbowing grandma to get out of my way.  Whoops!

Almost done so it was time to push even harder!

A little blurry because Scott is still getting used to our new camera for action shots.

That’s full on, I can’t see anything but the banner, sprinting.

Finish line, hooray!!!

Complete with my chocolate soymilk at the finish!

They were passing out sparkling wine and pizza at the finish line.  But at 9am, I passed.   In all honesty, smelling pizza at the finish is pretty nauseating.  I quickly moved away from it and it wasn’t long before Scotty found me wandering around.  We walked around for a bit to keep my legs from stiffening up and then I stretched them out on the back of that truck once the picture was taken.  Keeping it classy!

The race had a few challenging hills to it, two of them back to back near the finish which was great for testing endurance and building strength.

In other words I cursed their names.

My finish time was 1:06 and the distance was 6.55 miles.  I came in 40th out of 139 in my age group.

It was a great race and I had a fabulous time running it.

Mid-Ohio Foodbank Visit

Last week I had the chance to take a tour of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, which is located in Grove City, Ohio. This is a brand new facility for the Foodbank. The Foodbank bought an old mattress factory and repurposed it for the Foodbank needs.

All donations and distributions happen out of this facility. It is also home to all of the administration offices as well.

It’s a HUGE building.

I met up with Jessica on a Wednesday afternoon to chat about the Foodbank, take a tour, and discuss some volunteer opportunities with her.

The service area for the Foodbank is rather large, covering just about the entire midsection of the state. They distribute a great deal of food and despite the gigantic size of their storage areas, the food doesn’t stay around for long.  There is a huge turnover.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, in 2010 they delivered 39.7 Million pounds of food to their 500 partner agencies that then distributed the food to 20 counties in Central Ohio.

That’s a lot of food in one year!

Those are pallets of peanut butter waiting to be sorted and packaged up for distribution. That’s not even all of the PB, it goes back a lot farther!

Thanks to the great help of volunteers who do all of the packing and checking of foods to make sure they aren’t expired, damaged, or past ripe. Volunteers handle about 20% of the food at the Foodbank. Last year the Foodbank received help from over 12,000 volunteers.

The building itself has several sponsors who have donated money to make the new building the best it possibly can be.

Being environmentally friendly was a big consideration for the Foodbank and their new location.  By repurposing an old building and using recycled materials throughout the building where possible, they have obtained a LEED Gold Certification.

When you first walk into the Foodbank you are greeted by this glass wall which looks directly into one of the food storage areas.  It’s not only an attractive piece of structure but it also provides a glimpse into the operations that go on in the building.

There is also a brand new demo kitchen that houses some pretty intense appliances! For 2011 the Foodbank is working on providing more cooking and nutrition information along with providing food to those in need.

They also have a garden which produced over 1400 pounds of produce last year. And they have a brand new pantry section which they are currently developing programs for so they can open it up to the community.

The Foodbank does a lot!

The Foodbank is always looking for volunteers and those willing to donate their time or food to help a great cause.  You can register here to volunteer!

I thank the Foodbank for taking the time to give me a tour and tell me about the facility. I can’t wait to volunteer with them!