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This year we decided to participate in the Fit Foodies 5k Race, a new event added to the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival. One of our friends joined us for the race. In addition, I opted to attend the Fit Foodies 5k Pre-Race Dinner the night before.
Pre-Race Dinner (Friday, Nov. 22 2013)
On a lightly sprinkling night, I parked my car and walked into the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel to check out the dinner party. I ended up 30 minutes early due to worrying about Friday night traffic/rain and was lucky enough to bump into the wonderful Clare McHugh, the editor of Health magazine. We had a nice chat at one of the bars in the hotel, then returned to the banquet room for the dinner. Awaiting me was a lovely appetizer bar, full of yummy snacks. I helped myself to some tasty cheeses, meat, and crackers. Sorry ahead of time for the poor picture quality. My phone camera does not do well in low lighting.
I picked a table to sit and met some new ladies, including a woman who had run a MARATHON the past weekend! Very impressive considering I wasn't sure how I'd do on this tiny 5k! We were also served some wine while waiting for the official dinner to start. All the dining guests were introduced to Claire McClure, who I had met earlier, and Scott Mowbray, the editor of Eating Light. They informed us that a staff member from one of their teams would be sitting at each of our tables, eager to answer any questions that we may have. I happened to pick the table where Scott was sitting so I was able to talk to both magazine editors in the same night!
For dinner, our appetizer was a mixed green salad with red grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and pumpkin seeds served with raspberry vinaigrette. The main entree was farro risotto with grilled chicken, sauteed rainbow chard, beets, and roasted tomatoes. Farro is pretty new to me (other than the Whole Foods holiday tasting) but I like it! I was also surpised at the main course because I was expecting the typical italian pasta noodles (penne, linguine, etc)! It's nice to know that there's a variety of meals that are good for fueling your body before exercising!
For dessert, we had lemon sorbet with fresh berries and agave syrup, followed by some dessert cakes. The pre-race dinner also included a raffle with food and health related prizes. The best prize of course was a pair of tickets to the Grand Tasting event for the following day. The winner of that was very lucky! Overall dinner was very pleasant and we were able to mingle and relax before the big race.
5k Race (Saturday, Nov. 23)
I'm not a 'runner' but I do work out so 5 weeks was enough to prepare for this task. I felt very official as we were getting our numbers, which I've only seen in pictures before! And yes, I was very excited about my first 5k run! Luckily, the rain was completely gone by the morning too so we were able to enjoy some lovely sunshine for this outdoors event! I believe there were over 900 participants on that day. To get us started, the Celebrity Fitness demonstration stage began with Kristen McGee warming everyone up with some yoga-inspired stretching. Shortly after, around 8am, the runners began the race, with at least four waves. We were in the third wave.
After completing the 5k, we headed back to the Finishers Village. We all picked up our shirts after the run as modeled above by the guys. There were many bustling booths and stages offering health and wellness workshops, food and cocktail tastings, product sampling, and gift bags. We took home a lot of yummy samples!
At the Celebrity Chef demonstrating stage, Chef Bernard Guillas, executive chef of Marine Room, was giving a demonstration on preserved lemon red quinoa tabbouleh.
In another section, we saw Kristen McGee, a fitness expert and leader of our warmup earlier, talking to the audience about her dvds and other healthy topics. There was also a section where we took finish line photos. Not too far from the booths was the 21+ tasting area.
One of the alcohols served was Bon Affair, a wine spritzer with California wine, purified sparkling water, electrolytes and zero added sugar.
Another vendor was Cupcake Vineyards. At first I thought the event was going to have an actual cupcake bakery but it turns out it was just a brand name! They did serve some cupcakes with their wine samples though!
We also were able to sample Stella Artois beer. I am not really a beer fan much but I do like the taste of this one. They were quite generous, serving a whole can of beer for each taster! Whoo hoo!
All in all, it was a really fun and satisfactory event. Dennis and I survived the walk/run and we also got to sample lots of new snacks and alcohol. I wouldn't mind returning to this event next year. By then I should be able to improve my race time too!
Disclaimer: we were provided one registration for the run (we covered all other costs ourselves) but the opinions are strictly our own