Sunday, October 30, 2011

ING New York City Marathon 2011: Who’s Running?

On the first Sunday of November in 2011, will you be watching from the television the ING NYC Marathon or be in the crowds together with 2 million enthusiastic fans cheering on 45,000 participants, elite athletes, and the following few notables will be towing the line on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge;

· Stephanie Abrams-I hope she brings nice weather on Sunday.

· Gbenga Akinnagbe-You’ve seen him act in the Taking of Pelham 123, Numb3rs, The Good Wife, and Nurse Jackie. All for Africa will benefit from his run.

· Nate Appleman-Besides supporting Chipotle’s charity arm, he’s been a contestant on the Next Iron Chef and Chopped: All Stars.

· Joe Bastianich-You’ve might have eaten at his restaurants, Babbo, Becco or Del Posto, sipped his Bastianich wines, and watched him judge on MasterChef.

· Dr. Andy Baldwin-This multitasker is a Triathlete, Humanitarian, and is a good looking MD taking on the marathon for World Vision. Note that he will be running in the Nairobi Marathon in Kenya the week before!

· Richard Blais-This CIA graduate took his skills to the top at Top Chef All-Stars and will be running for Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

· Jennie Finch-The Olympic Softball Gold Medallist will be the last official runner and for every person she passes, Timex will donate $1.00 to New York Road Runners Youth Program.

· Mark Messier-Can this 6-time Stanley Cup Champion run, you bet ya on behalf of two causes, the New York Police & Fire Widows' and the Children's Benefit Fund and the Tomorrows Children's Fund.

· Mýa-North Shore Animal League has benefited from her waltz on Dancing with the Stars, act on television and movies and win Grammy Awards.

· Mario Lopez-Yes, AC Slater is running the NYC Marathon, currently he’s hosting at "Extra" and running for Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America.

· Apolo Ohno-He Dances with the Stars after being a highly decorated U.S. Olympian in the short-track speed skating. Subway’s Jared Fogle challenges Ohno to take on the race for Special Olympics.

· Shonda Schilling-Married to the famous Curt “Bloody Sock” Schilling. She’s a New York Times best-selling author and will be running for Asperger’s Syndrome.

· Paul Sparks-You’ve seen him in Boardwalk Empire as Mickey Doyle and will in a few upcoming movies. He’s running for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

· Ryan Sutter-The First Descents fundraiser found love on Television. He had a short-lived football career before this Colorado Firefighter married Trista Rehn from the Bachelorette. He’s supporting First Descents.

· Christy Turlington Burns-This beautiful supermodel will be running on behalf of Every Mother Counts.

· Michael K. Williams-You’ve seen him in Boardwalk Empire, Brooklyn’s Finest, and the Wire. He’s running for Harlem United.

· Edwin van der Sar-This Future Hall of Fame Manchester United Goalie will be running for Shoe4Africa.

· Veronica Webb-She’s famous for her runway modeling and acting. This time she’s running for Harlem United.

· Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca-He won a million on Survivor, but can he survive the Streets of NYC and support Team in Training’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It is great that these celebrities are using their fame to raise awareness for these charities. I’ve been support Team for Kids for about 3 years. There is nothing better than running for yourself. When you couple the race with a worthy cause, it really becomes special!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marathon Guide: Tips for Spectators

What’s more special than watching your friends or family members run past you as you cheer your head off in support of an incredible achievement that only have handful of the population even attempt. All runners greatly appreciate any strangers cheering them on, when they see a loved one on the sidelines clapping with enthusiasm as you pass by. There is a great sense of support that the runner feels. So please thank you for cheering on the marathon participants.


Just as your runner trained and prepared for their race, so should you. Here are some tips that will make the most use of your time as you wait for your runner to pass by:

Preparing for the Big Day:
  • To start, check out the race’s website for their guide for spectators. Since the course may change year to year, roads close off and other issues that occur along 26.2 miles. This page should provide the latest info to any adjustments. Most race sites will include the best spots to watch your runner.
  • Start to check out the race’s website for their guide for spectators. Since the course may change year to year, roads close off and other issues that occur along 26.2 miles. This page should provide the latest info to any adjustments. Most race sites will include the best spots to watch your runner.
  • Know how fast your runner runs. Have them give you an estimate of their pace, and even write out the times they estimate to be at each mile marker.
  • Plan for the side of the road the runner will be on during that mile marker. Sometimes, you’re on the wrong side of the road, and you will miss your runner.
  • Know what your runner will be wearing
  • Some races now have apps for your smart phone that will give you updates to the major markers of the race, such as the times at the Start Line, 5k, 10k, 15k, 13.1 mile, 20k, 30k, 40k, and of course the Finish Line.
  • Make your poster board signs big, bright and legible. Usually at the Race Expo, there is a station to make signs. Use words of encouragement. Names help distinguish your runner as special. I always love “Go, Dad, Go!”
  • Cow Bell, everyone has a fever for more Cow Bell! Clang, Clang, Clang!
  • Set your alarm clock that will allow you to get ready and arrive at your spot with plenty of time to cheer on all the runners.
  • Bring water and snacks with you, just in case there are no stores around to purchase a beverage.
  • If your runner requests that you bring their special formula or a bottle of Coca Cola, remember to bring it.
  • Scope out the bathrooms and port-o-potties on the course map, just in case you don’t want to be part of nature.
  • With bigger races you may need to fight to the sidelines and smaller races usually you can get close to the action without offending anyone.
  • Dress appropriately, since it may snow, rain, be too hot, or too cold.
  • Let the runner know what you will be wearing, make it loud and bright also.
  • Get ready to applaud.
  • Even cheer on the runners that you don’t know. Look for any names on their shirts and yell them out. Way to go! John or Looking good! Sally. They need support also.
  • If your child plans to run with the runner to the finish line, make sure they are ready for the last 100 yards.

Most importantly enjoy yourself for the 4 to 5 hours. Know that you are an integral part of your runner’s team. Having the support and love is the only thing that gets a runner through a marathon. Keep up the great work, and see you on the course! Maybe next year we will be cheering you on as a runner!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Salmon and Shrimp over Vegatable Quionoa Salad

2-6oz Salmon Filets
4-Large Shrimps
1-Handful of Mixed Greens
1/2 Bunch of Asparagus
1/2 Head of Broccoli
½ Onion
1 Tomato
1 Avacado
1 Lemon
1 Cup of Quinoa
2 Cups of Chicken Stock or Broth
½ Cup of Carrots
¼ Cup of Crumbled Feta Cheese
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 pinches of Himalayan Sea Salt
3 pinches of Freshly Ground Pepper
¼ cup of Balsamic Vinegar and ¼ cup of Olive Oil Dressing
2 Tablespoons of No Salt Seasoning


Chop Carrots into bite sized pieces and place into a medium sized pot
Pour Chicken Stock into the pot and cook over high heat
Pour Quinoa into the pot and stir. Place lid on top of the pot and cook for 15 minutes
Reduce heat to medium once boiling.

Rinse and clean the Salmon and Shrimps, and pat dry

In a medium sized bowl, pour in the Olive Oil and place the Salmon and Shrimp with the oil tossing and coat all sides of the Salmon and Shrimp. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and no salt seasoning coating all sides of the Salmon and Shrimp. Let mariniate while you prep the vegatables

Soak, Rinse and Spin the Handfull of Mixed Greens

Clean the Aspargus and cut into bite sized pieces

Clean the Broccoli and cut into bite sized florets

Peel the Onion, and slice radially.

Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat with some olive oil

Place the Salmon and Shrimp, turn the heat to high and sear for 4 minutes

Flip the Salmon and Shrimp and cook for another 3 minutes

Cut the lemon in ½ and squeeze ½ of the lemon and pour juice over the Salmon and Shrimp. Remove the Salmon and Shrimp from heat and place on a dish

On another large skillet on medium-high heat with some olive oil, place the sliced Onions, Broccoli and Aspargus and cook until the Broccoli is bright green

Place the cooked vegatables on top of the mixed greens, then add the quinoa. Add sliced tomotoes and feta cheese, and toss with balsamic and olive oil dressing.

Place salad on a dish, and place the Salmon and Shrimp on the salad.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wineglass Marathon: The Glass Medallion

After searching for the Top Marathons in the United States, we settled on one of Runner’s World Top Choices. The category was Speediest. After running through the 5 Boroughs for the last couple of years, a change of pace (should say faster pace) and venue was a welcome idea.

While the Title of Speediest was the initially inviting for our legs, we also get to enjoy a special glass flute and a split of sparkling white wine. However, the final decision to press the enter key was cast in stone or should I say, “cast in glass.” When we saw a picture of the unique hand made glass medallion they would eventually drape over our necks at the end of the race on Market Street in Corning, New York.

It seems appropriate that glass would be the material of choice for the medallion, considering Corning is world renowned for its glass making. In fact we enjoy the benefits of working on the internet because of the fiber optics that Corning, Inc. created and the amazing artwork found through out this scenic Finger Lakes small town located in Western New York.

With a little more internet searching and wandering around the website, it looked like we could actually go visit the place where they make the medallions for the race. After rummaging through the goody bags, we found a flyer for the Hand-On Glass Hot Glass Studio.

The next morning, we met up with Ray and Frances and made an appointment for a visit and make our own glass souvenirs. Ray is my brother-in-law who happened to take up marathon running after I did my first one in New York City in 2008. This sub 4:00 marathoner gets more excited that I do running a race. I hope I can catch up to his speed one day.

I entered 124 Crystal Lane, Corning, NY into the GPS and drove the short distance. When the voice came over the speaker to make a right, I hesitated because the street looked very residential. I was figuring that the studio would be located in a massive industrial stronghold with other manufacturing plants. The course correction immediately followed to the next street over and I finally make it the back way of the one way street called.

We parked next 3 cars other cars in the front of what looked to be about a 7000 square foot painted white facility. Our appointment wasn’t for another 15 minutes so we waited inside the SUV. Being a little impatient, I headed to the double doors and went inside to explore.

The studio had an open floor plan with at least 20 foot ceilings. On the left wall had a 15 foot display showing off glass products and artwork for sale, which included ornaments, paper weights and pen holders of all different colors and sizes. To the right of the display was an angled 10 foot wide counter with a smiling person manning the single register. The counter was angled to allow your flow to eventually move to where the action was to the right.

Shifting right, my eyes were drawn to the annealing oven cabinets which kept the artwork at a cozy 1200 degrees to slowly reduce the heat from the glass item. This process is necessary so that the items does not crack because of the drastic change in temperature that it once held from one of the 4 glory holes located just further right. Here the glory hole furnace contains the molten glass at 2400 degrees.

Above the furnaces hung a massive hood, to control the airflow from the exhaust and heat emanating from the furnaces. In addition, the fire suppressant system was actively on. Since it takes so long to start and stop the furnaces, they keep them running 24/7.

Everyone eventually walked into the studio, and we decided on the creations we were going to make. Next to the register were the current sun catcher choices and a seasonal glass pumpkin that we can create for our class.

We waited as the group before us finished their creations and filed past us. We made our choices. Irene and I pick a few sun catchers and a small pumpkin.

It was a fairly simple process for the sun catchers. An assistant pulled some molten glass out of the glory hole furnace and place a blob of it on the a steel surface. We pressed down on to the blog with our graphite cast and pressed our shape into it, and a hole punch finished it off so we can hang it. That is how our medallion was made in a similar fashion. I believe the artist created 4000 this year.

For the glass blown pumpkins, the owner Rodi Rovner came out to assist. While we helped make the blob in to a hollow glass sphere, Rodi placed it in a mold, added the mixed broken bit of glass, and a curly stem.

All of our works of art were placed in the annealing ovens to slowly cool down, and ready to be picked up after our race!

While Runner’s World boasts that every runner would clock a personal best, I guess I wasn’t on that list! Long story short, my wife was not expecting me to run in this race since; I was doing the Steamtown Marathon the following week. So I surprised her and ran 26.2 miles, and most importantly we got to share a unique event that is capped with a unique prize at the end.

We walked into the studio after our race to show off our medallion that Rodi created, and we asked her to autograph it. She pulled out a high-speed etching gun and wrote her name. I was really surprised that no one has ever asked her to sign the medallions before. We were the first ones. Now that was cool.

So if you are planning on running the Wineglass Marathon up in Corning, New York. Definitely go visit Hands-on Glass and see how your medallion was made!