Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spartan Race & Marriott Rewards Team Up

Photos by OHventures

[Editor's Note: Make it to the end of this entry for details on how to win a FREE Spartan Race entry!]

The Spartan Race is more than an obstacle race, it's a revolution! It's a movement! It's a life-changing challenge that you just HAVE to see for yourself. I first stuck my toes into the Spartan Race waters back in October 2014, where I experienced a mud-covered, hail-filled, helluva Spartan Super course (11 miles) that left me and my brother sore, exhausted, and filled with an sense of accomplishment! 

I came back for more in May of 2016 with my friends Matt and Anthony for another extreme challenge, complete with javelin throws, sandbag carries, rope climbs, and - of course - burpees, all during a shorter (6 mile) Spartan Sprint

Now that we have caught the Spartan bug, we are eager to try our hand at the Spartan Beast - a course that can last up to 16 miles! But, until then, I can proudly look at my two two Spartan medals with pride, as they definitely took quite a bit of grit, strength, and determination to be earned!

After both of these crazy experiences, nothing would have been better than to have a nearby hotel to stay in. Rather than driving three hours home to Northeast Ohio, booking a night at a hotel would truly have made it that much sweeter of an experience. 

Thankfully, accommodations at the Spartan Race can be made that much simpler, because Marriott Rewards is now the official Hotel Partner for Spartan Race. Because of this new partnership, Marriott Rewards has an exclusive offer to people who join their loyalty program - 20% off races, free VIP bag check and $5 off Spartan gear at the races. Once enrolled, points are earned when you stay at any 4,500 participating hotels around the world.

Sound like a good plan? I sure thought so! All the info about this partnership and how you can sign up for the loyalty program is here: Marriott Rewards & Spartan Race Team Up.

It's perfect timing, because the Spartan Race Ohio 2017 is coming the weekend of May 20-21, once again in Cumberland. 

To sweeten the deal, as we always do, OHventures is offering you a chance to win a FREE entry to any upcoming Spartan Race in 2017 (of course we would love for you to pick the one in Ohio, but this entry will be good for any location in the United States). 

Here's how: just go on Twitter and Tweet to @OHventures between now and Cinco De Mayo (May 5, 2017) with the hashtag #SpartanUpOH and a reason why you want to tackle this challenge! Everyone who does this will be entered to win a free entry and will be contacted via Twitter the following day at Noon! 

Spartan Up! AROO!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Consider Donating to VeloSano

For the past two years, I have pedaled alongside thousands of bicyclists and cancer survivors in the VeloSano Bike To Cure event. Riding a total of 150 miles for the cause has been exciting, challenging, and - most importantly - meaningful. I knew that I had to come back and ride again for this fantastic cause in VeloSano 4 (read about my experiences in VeloSano 2 and VeloSano 3).  

I am going to be riding 50 miles in VeloSano on July 22 and I need your help to raise money for the cause. Any amount, big or small, from $5 to $25 to $100 to even more would be so much appreciated!

Latin for “swift cure,” VeloSano is a major community initiative in Cleveland, in which participants raise money for cancer research through the sport of cycling. 100% of the dollars raised by VeloSano participants advances cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. In just three short years, over $8 million has been generated and is already hard at work in the fight against cancer.

Since approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, it is a no-brainer that we must continue to fight.

With these statistics, it is without question that someone you know (or perhaps you personally) has been affected by cancer.

It's time to do something about it. 

You have the opportunity to make a difference in the fight against cancer by donating to my VeloSano bike ride. 

I am proud to say that I am an employee of the Cleveland Clinic, and I will be riding as part of the Akron team! You can help!  Please click below!

AkRun & Crawl: After Dark Encore!

It's the 11th Annual AkRun & Crawl! Back by popular demand, we are doing an encore presentation of the AFTER DARK theme - with a Flashlight Glow Run along the Towpath Trail followed by an epic bar crawl in the Merriman Valley on May 20, 2017 with a race start of 9:00 PM

Our 5K run follows the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Merriman Valley before joining your friends for a pub crawl to celebrate your finish in style. Participants receive glow necklaces and accessories to wear while running, and are encouraged to bring flashlights to illuminate the trail. 

Registration also gets you an official AkRun & Crawl t-shirt, and a beer mug for access to special drinks and free food at the 5 participating bars: Johnny J’s, Shots, Woody's Tavern, The Corner Bar, and The Lazy Gator. There will even be cake and special "birthday drinks" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of AkRun & Crawl!

Race registration begins at 7 PM, with a 9 PM race start in front of BCG & Co., located at 1735 Merriman Road in Akron. Join us at 9:30 p.m. as we kick off the Pub Crawl at Johnny J's, located in the Liberty Commons Shopping Plaza at 1282 Weathervane Lane, Akron, OH 44313. Race results will also be announced at this location. 

What are you waiting for? It's just $35 for the glow run & pub crawl, so come join the fun at the  #AkRunAfterDark !

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Grand Brewery Tour

Join fellow Ohio craft beer lovers on the 2017 Grand Brewery Tour. This year we will be making our way from Canton through Columbus and Cincinnati down to Asheville, NC for a weekend of gustatory wonderment.

Boasting more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville itself is home to more than two dozen breweries that make hundreds of brands. If you fancy yourself a seeker of fine beers, this is a rare opportunity enjoy a little bit of what Asheville has to offer on an exclusive tour of breweries and beers big and small guided only by brewers and your own good taste.

The Grand Brewery Tour will include:
  • Luxury motor-coach travel (Pick up in CANTON or COLUMBUS)
  • 3-night hotel stay - (Four Points by Sheraton Asheville Downtown) double occupancy Room
  • Breakfast (Fri. – Sat. – Sun. – Mon.)
  • 2 lunch stops (Friday & Monday)
  • Exclusive Grand Brewery Tour t-shirt
  • Two 32oz growlers
  • Beer on the bus! Including at least one newly released brand
  • Guided brewery tours

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cool & Cozy Ohio Cabins

Photo by OHventures

The idea of sleeping under the stars, awaking to birds chirping, and bonding with friends in the great outdoors is my idea of an amazing night. It's difficult to see the stars with bright city lights, and even harder to hear the chirping of birds while traffic whizzes by. A uniquely Ohio lodging getaway can help to remedy this!

If you pick the right cabin in the right place, you can wake up and head out on a hike, embark on a canoe ride, or enjoy a nearby festival. While there are literally hundreds of options out there, below are some of the greatest spots to rent a cabin or overnight in a unique lodging facility in Ohio. For a comprehensive listing of cabins found at all Ohio State Parks, visit this site.

1. Island View Cottages: Why bother planning a vacation to far off places like Florida or Mexico, when you can take a getaway to Ohio's own Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island? Book an overnight stay to maximize your island experience.

2. Mohican Tree House Cabins: If you have ever had a desire to live Swiss Family Robinson style for a day, or if you wanted to bring back childhood memories of the tree house you had in your backyard, now you can!

3. Geneva State Park Campground: Stay in the cedar cabins at this 698-acre state-run park in Geneva (Ashtabula County), which is situated along the Lake Erie coastline, and has thick forested and marshy inlands. 

4. The Hocking Hills Caboose: Have you ever slept overnight in the cabin of a train? This unique location allows you to do just that - but in the middle of the woods! 

5. Nomad Ridge at The Wilds: Located on 10,000 acres of land in Cumberland (Guernsey County) in Southeast Ohio, The Wilds is one of the world's largest and most impressive wildlife conservation facilities. Come to The Wilds and stay in one of the yurts on Nomad Ridge. A yurt is somewhat of a hybrid between a tent and a cabin, and the ones found at Nomad Ridge are all decked out!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Polar Blast Snow Tubing

Photos by OHventures

In winter months, the Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort (or BMBW for short) located in the northern Summit County town of Peninsula is a fine getaway for those looking for some snowy adventures. BMBW conjures up great memories for me, as I began coming here every wintry Thursday evening as part of my high school's official Ski Club. We hopped on an old yellow bus and drove an hour and a half to what at the time seemed to be enormous eskers. It was then that I learned everything I really needed to know about skiing - from how to walk (more like waddle) in the skis, how and when to utilize the poles, and of course how to zip down the slopes with the greatest of ease. Even though I have been skiing there for nearly 20 years, this weekend was my first-ever trip to the resort's Polar Blast Snow Tubing attraction - and what a BLAST it was!

Snow tubing is the perfect winter activity, as it requires minimal (nearly zero) skill, and is something in which people of most any age can easily participate! All it requires is an inner tube filled with air and a large snow-covered hill - both of which Polar Blast provides for you at a very reasonable cost ($25 for 3 hours or $59 for an all-day pass). The Polar Blast hills are specifically used for snow tubing, so you won't have to worry about sharing the hillside with skiers and snowboarders!

Ohio's Tallest & Fastest Toboggan Chutes

Photo by OHventures

These giant toboggan chutes can be found at Mill Stream Run Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks located in Strongsville. The chutes are 700 feet long, with a 70-foot tall drop at a 33-degree angle. You can travel down the chutes as fast as 50 miles per hour! There are many factors that can contribute to how fast you go, including the number of people on your toboggan (you can have up to four riders per toboggan), the weight of your riders (plus the weight of the toboggan, which is 37 pounds), the current humidity, and the current temperature.

Two 20-inch-wide chutes are side-by-side on tracks that are refrigerated with a cooling unit and a pump. We learned from facts that were posted at the site that the pump carries cooled diethylene glycol through an underground piping system to the chutes. The diethylene glycol chills the concrete and allows the water on the surface to freeze. This is what allows riders to glide safely and quickly down the hill!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ohio-Fy Your Life

New "Ohio-fy Your Life" shirts are available now for a limited time only!

Buy a shirt TODAY to show your love of all things Ohio.

But hurry! The campaign ends on February 13! Get your shirt by clicking here!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Godspeed, John Glenn

Photo by OHventures

John Glenn
July 18, 1921 - December 8, 2016

It seemed as if we lost more celebrities than usual in 2016 - icons like David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Mohammed Ali, Prince, and Debbie Reynolds. But there was one legend we lost in 2016 that stands out as being one of America's last true heroes: John Glenn.

I had the great honor and privilege of meeting the esteemed John Glenn a few years back. At 95 years old, Glenn had most certainly led an amazing career and life. He was an American hero, as in 1962 he became the very first American to orbit the Earth (and the third American in space). He also became the oldest person to ever fly in space in 1998 at the age of 77. He represented Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974-1999 and served in the United States Navy and Marines from 1941-1965. In 1998, he helped found the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. He was married to the wonderful Annie Glenn since 1943 (a lovely lady, whom I also had the honor to meet).

Upon his death, John Glenn became the 9th person whose body laid in state at the Ohio Statehouse since it opened int he 1850s (the others before him include Abraham Lincoln and former Ohio governors). It was a celestial ceremony as he took off on his "final mission."

From his birth in Cambridge, Ohio to his journeys in Outer Space to his time in Washington, DC and his continued service in Columbus at OSU, John Glenn was a true OHventurer in every form of the word. I am so humbled to have met him, and we should all be so honored to have had him lead so many frontiers in his long, illustrious life. 

Godspeed, John Glenn.