Monday, September 30, 2013

Brace Against Hunger 5K Recap

Photos by OHventures

It’s so much easier to run when you are surrounded by serene and beautiful scenery.

It’s even easier to run when you know that there is Ohio-made award winning wine waiting for you at the finish line!

Both of those things made for a 5K run that is one of my personal bests, with a time of 24:23!

This feat occurred on the morning of Sunday, September 22 at the Inaugural Brace Against Hunger 5K Walk/Run by the Stark County Hunger Task Force, which took place on the grounds of Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro, as well as on the Stark Parks trails.

The Stark Parks (whose mascot is a creepy looking frog-thingy) trails were pretty brutal, and I was NOT prepared for the amount of hills that were on our course, but they clearly didn't slow me down too much because, as you know, I clocked in at a pretty good time, and placed 47th out of 500-plus runners! I know for a fact that the thought of an early morning wino session at Gervasi is what kept me trucking it!

For years, I have been gushing to everyone about Gervasi being the best winery in all of Ohio, and I still mean it. There really is no place like it that I can think of other than Napa Valley (and that is quite a hike if you want to go there). It's been featured on OHventures as being one of Ohio's Top 5 Best Wineries, and in the OHventures Guide to Canton, among many other mentions!

Now that I live in North Canton (for those of you that don't know, I moved here from Columbus in August!), I have been looking to immerse myself in the Northeast Ohio running scene, and this was a perfect race to do so.

I also recently met a friend of a friend, Katie, who is HUGE into participating into local races. Katie has a goal of running 31 races in 2013, the year in which she turns 31! She is well on her way to accomplishing this, and documents her journey on her blog "Life's Katetastic!" I think that her participation in the Brace Against Hunger 5K is race #21 or something, but she has a TON lined up for the final quarter of 2013!

Anyway. Let's get back on track. Where were we? Oh!

As participants of the race, we had the exclusive privilege of getting a sneak peak of Gervasi's newest addition, the Crush House, which is being unveiled to the public starting October 1. The Crush House was a $4 million project and is nestled int he rear of the property. It offers a brand new restaurant, wine bar and winery all in one, and is nothing short of stunning on the inside and out!

The interior of the Crush House is modern and slick, with dim red-tinted lighting, a 58-foot winding bar, a stainless steel wine production room, and a maginificent second floor with one-of-a-kind jaw-dropping decorative chandeliers made of wine bottles! Even the bathroom sinks are wine themed!

We also got to have a special menu consisting of yummy breakfasts and hand-crafted drinks, such as the apricot bellini, which I promptly sucked down. I am sure there were som nutrients of some sort in that drink that helped rehydrate me after the race!

In addition to the Crush Hous tour, other perks of the race were a car raffle, Subway sammies and other snacks, a finish line party with a DJ, and the chance to mingle with some great folks! I was happy to get to see the former Director of the Stark County Hunger Task Force, and current Director of yStark Eric Smer at the event!

Another pretty cool perk was seeing the impressive stack of non-perishible items, canned goods, and oter donated food that participants brought in to help the cause at hand: feeding the hungry and impoverished population of Stark County. By seeing that mound of food, there's no doubt that this was an extremely successful inaugural year for the Brace Against Hunger 5K!

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