Tag Archives: United States

Twin Cities Marathon Pictoral Preview

The Twin Cities Marathon course has been quite busy this summer, just like every summer (actually year round).  This is because the course takes in some of the coolest recreation spots in the metro – or at least Minneapolis.  Beginning in downtown Minneapolis the 26.2 mile course  makes a big circle before ending up in downtown St Paul.  Leaving the sports capital of Minnesota (the Metrodome) runners take in some amazing views before arriving at the state capital of Minnesota.  What a course.   Here’s last year’s course preview.

Below are 26 pictures from the course itself (though they don’t come from all 26 miles of the course).

A picture of the map…
The Hurbert H Humphrey Metrodome – aka staging area and starting line.
A random wall downtown along Hennepin Ave.  I know some of the symbols are Adrinka symbols of West Africa, but I don’t know their history here.
The Basillica of St Mary is on Hennepin as well. Don’t let the old architecture fool you, they are on Twitter.
This is WAC, the Walker Art Center.  On the right is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  I’ve heard tell that some people use it as a quick potty stop. (I don’t recommend it) Watch this hill.  If we ran on the sidewalks we’d actually get to run under the Walker.
TCM isn’t called “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in American” for nothing.  This is Lake of the Isles, the first among several lakes we’ll travel around.  We won’t run by the most expensive house in Minneapolis, but it is located on the Isles.
Here’s another shot of the Isles.
Dean Parkway going underneath the Midtown Greenway.
Lake #2 Lake Calhoun.  On the south end there will be a cool view of the downtown skyline with the lake in the foreground.
The third lake is Lake Harriet which has a cool band shell and yacht club.
Running under the Niollet Ave bridge (I think).   A local marching band stands under one of these bridges and plays.
The 7ft bronze rabbit at the intersection of Portland and Minnehaha Parkway.  I can’t figure out where it came from.
We run a long ways on this parkway. Here is wikipedia’s take on who Minnehaha was…
The Grand Rounds is a great way to see the major sites in the city. A road, trail system, and scenic destination itself, much of the marathon is actually run along the Grand Rounds.
West River Parkway has been under construction all summer, but it won’t affect the race.  This is where I started to fall apart during the 2008 marathon.
The Mississippi River is a national park.  This is crossing the Franklin Ave bridge.
A bad shot of the river!
This is now on East River Road getting ready to go under a rail bridge which will one day connect to the Greenway.
University of St Thomas sits atop a nice hill and is around the 21 mile mark!
A nice long look up Summit Ave. A nice long uphill. And is the longest remaining stretch of residential Victorian architecture in the United States.
Bridge crossing Ayd Mill Rd.
A cool church on the corner of Lexington Parkway and Summit Ave.
One of many cool houses. If you aren’t in complete agony, be sure to check them out! They are on both sides.
This is a great sign!! You are atop the hill and getting ready to turn left into the final stretch.  I always felt a little let down that we turn here instead of just going down the hill!
The Cathedral of St Paul. When you see the steeple it is almost over!
The Minnesota State Capital building and the finish line!!!  Congratulations you’ve finished.

[tags] Twin Cities Marathon, TCM, Marathon, Twin Cities [/tags]

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Minneapolis: Best in the World

Yes, I am a little biased, but I do think that Minneapolis is one of the greatest places in the United States.  I would say it ranks pretty high on the world stage too, but there might be some other places I’d rather live.   Nonetheless Travel and Leisure Magazine recently named Minneapolis one of the best biking cities in the world.

Minneapolis actually ranks number 2 in the US falling behind Portland as far as bike commuting goes.  One of the reasons Minneapolis was ranked so high is the

infrastructure that promotes bicycling on many fronts. From bike lockers and designated street lanes to recreational trails and snowplows dedicated to clearing off-street paths, a system exists to make transportation on a bike efficient, safe, and hassle-free.

This same infrastructure makes Minneapolis a great place to run.  Many of my runs use existing bike infrastructure.  The Midtown Greenway is a biking thorough-fare.  Running on downtown’s Riverfront uses part of the Grand Rounds Trail.  Of course all of the lakes have bike and running trails.

Minneapolis has a ton of paved trails, I wish it had more dirt trails within the city that I could easily use from my house.  But I will take the ease of off-road running and the mostly suburb job of plowing that occurs in winter.

HT Mayor’s Blog

[tags] Minneapolis, Biking, Trails, Travel [/tags]

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Today is National Running Day!

09runningday

If you read this blog, there is a good chance that for you every day is a running day for you. But lots of people don’t run on a regular basis, in fact many people have no physical activity as part of their routine.

According to the event’s website:

National Running Day is a national initiative whereby many of the major organizations within the running industry are joining forces in an unprecedented unified effort to nationally and locally promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. The inaugural National Running Day will be Wednesday, June 3.

Everyone is encouraged to not only go for a run but also to encourage someone else to get out on the trails as well. Especially children.

In the Twin Cities area, many local running stores are having events with “celebrity runners”. No, not the TV or political personalities, but real bona fide running celebrities. Athletes from Team USA Minnesota will be running with us mere mortals. So take this opportunity to run and “beat” a professional athlete!

Image from Team USA Minnesota website.
No image of the men is currently available.

All of the below events start at 6pm and are free!

Marathon Sports, 2312 W. 50th Street, Mpls.; meet and run with Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle, Jason Lehmkuhle, and Meghan Armstrong, grab a free massage from the experts of Lyn Lake Chiropractic and enjoy refreshments afterward
Life Time Fitness, St. Louis Park, 5525 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park; meet and run with Katie McGregor, Michelle Lilienthal and Missy Buttry Rock Distances range from one to 8 miles. Stay for refreshments afterward.
Life Time Fitness, Highland Park, 2145 Ford Parkway, St. Paul; meet and run with Olympian Carrie Tollefson and Antonio Vega . Distances range from one to 6 miles and more. Stay for refreshments afterward.
Kenwood Park, 2101 W. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis; meet and run with Emily Brown and Josh Moen Distances start at one and two miles.
Como Park Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N., St. Paul; meet and run with Matt Gabrielson. Distances start at one mile. Stay for refreshments afterward.
Running Room, 1068 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Distances include 1 mile walk, 1 mile run, 2 miles, 4 miles and more. Stay for refreshments afterward.

Enjoy the fun. Thanks to Twin Cities Marathon‘s e-mail update with this great information.

[tags] National Running Day, Team USA Minnesota, Running [/tags]

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Indulgence: Ultra Running

That was a clip from Indulgence: 1000 miles under the Colorado Sun.

From their website:

Indulgence: 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sky features ultra-marathon phenom Anton Krupicka in a high-definition running film inspired by mountain ski and bike films. The film will offer the viewer a first-hand look at Anton’s life as he trains in the mountains of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California during the summer of 2007. The film’s presentation will reflect Anton’s simple approach to life and running and his continued pursuit of this minimalist ideal amidst the expectations of modern society.

It looks pretty good.  Anyone seen it yet?

[tags] Indulgence, Ultra-running, movies [/tags]

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PowerBar is Safe, Clif Bars Recalled

Highlighted products include and their current status:

I got this e-mail from PowerBar today. I assume It covers their Pria product line as well.

We would like to take a moment to reassure you that none of our PowerBar products are affected by the recent reports of salmonella found in certain types of peanut butter and peanut paste ingredients traced to Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), the company that announced a nationwide recall of peanut butter. It is important to know that PowerBar does not purchase or source any peanut butter-based ingredients from PCA.

Consumer safety is our top priority and we utilize extensive quality control processes and checkpoints to ensure our products are in full compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements.

We’re passionate about sports and fitness. That’s why we started PowerBar to begin with-to help athletes like you reach your goals by providing trusted, proven nutritional products.

For the full safety release, visit:
www.powerbar.com

For a limited time, we’re offering a 10% discount on select PowerBar products. Visit www.PowerBarStore.com and enter discount code: PUSH09 at check out.

Respectfully,

PowerBar

I couldn’t find any information about Gatorade, or Balance Bars.

Update (2/2/09): Balance Bars updated their website to include this statement:

Balance is NOT recalling any products in connection with the recent salmonella outbreak related to peanut butter and paste.

Mars Snackfood US continues to say all of their products are safe.  A full list and detailed information can be found below.

19 January 2009 – United States
Hackettstown, NJ – January 18, 2009 – Mars Snackfood US today issued the following statement in reaction to the ongoing FDA investigation into peanut butter:

“Mars Snackfood US remains confident in the safety and quality of our products that contain peanut butter, all of which are safe to enjoy. Mars does not receive or process any peanuts or peanut butter from Peanut Corporation of America or King Nut, the companies that, according to FDA’s most recent update on its investigation, appear to be the source of contaminated product. In addition, we have not been asked by the FDA to recall any products in relation to the current investigation into salmonella.

At Mars, the majority of our products are manufactured using our own peanut butter made from our own roasted peanuts.

Food safety is of paramount importance to Mars, and we are committed to the highest standards of quality and safety. At Mars, we maintain a strict quality control program to ensure that our products leave our factories exceeding our high standards. Consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality of all Mars Snackfood US products.”

The following Mars Snackfood US products contain peanut butter, none of which is sourced from the companies being investigated by the FDA:

· M&M’S® Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies

· SNICKERS® Brand

· SNICKERS® Brand Ice Cream

· TWIX® Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

· KUDOS® Peanut Butter Granola Bars

· Ethel M Chocolates® and ethel’s® chocolate lounge

About Mars Snackfood US:

Mars Snackfood US is the United States snack operations of Mars North America. With more than $7 billion in annual sales in the U.S., Mars North America includes food, snack and petcare segments, which are a symbol of excellence for quality brands. Headquartered in Mount Olive, New Jersey, Mars North America employs more than 15,000 associates in the United States, with 72 facilities nationwide. Mars Snackfood US includes some of the world’s favorite brands such as, M&M’S® Brand, SNICKERS® Brand, DOVE® Chocolate Brand, MILKY WAY® Brand, 3 MUSKETEERS® Brand, TWIX® Brand. Additional popular brands in the petcare and food segments for Mars North America include UNCLE BEN’S® Brand, PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs, and WHISKAS® Brand Food for Cats. Please visit mars.com.

Clif Bars has issued a voluntary recall:

On January 19, 2009, we announced a voluntary recall of 14 U.S and 4 Canadian products including CLIF Bar, CLIF Builder’s, CLIF MOJO, CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR and LUNA Bar, in the U.S. and Canada because the peanut butter in those products was sourced, for a limited period of time, from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA is a manufacturer and supplier of peanut butter for many food companies and manufacturers.

PCA is under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a recent Salmonella outbreak thought to be caused by tainted peanut butter. In light of this investigation, and with an abundance of caution, Clif Bar & Company has enacted a voluntary recall. We take the health and safety of our consumers very seriously.

UPDATED 2/5/2009 to reflect expanded recall. More info here.

In the U.S, the following products with BEST BY or SELL BY dates1 within the ranges below, all sizes and packages, are included in the initial and expanded recall.

CLIF BAR Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch
09OCT08 to 31DEC09
CLIF BAR Crunchy Peanut Butter
09OCT08 to 31DEC09
CLIF BAR Peanut Toffee Buzz
09OCT08 to 31DEC09
CLIF Builder’s Peanut Butter
20SEP08 to 31DEC09
CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR Peanut Butter
21OCT08 to 31DEC09
LUNA Nutz Over Chocolate
28OCT08 to 31DEC09
LUNA Peanut Butter Cookie
28OCT08 to 31DEC09
MOJO Honey Roasted Peanut
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Mixed Nuts
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Mountain Mix
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Peanut Butter Pretzel
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Dipped Chocolate Peanut
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Dipped Peanut Butter and Jelly
01SEP07 to 31OCT09
MOJO Dipped Fruit and Nut
01SEP07 to 31OCT09

In Canada, the following products are included in the recall. Only bars with wrappers that have the following EXPIRY DATE/DATE D’EXPIRATION codes1 on them, in all sizes and packages, are being recalled:

CLIF BAR Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch / Brisures de Chocolat aux Arachides Croquants
2008OC04 to 2009DE31
CLIF BAR Crunchy Peanut Butter / Beurre d’ Arachide Croquant
2008OC04 to 2009DE31
CLIF BAR Peanut Toffee Buzz / Toffee et Arachides
2008OC04 to 2009DE31
CLIF Builder’s Peanut Butter / Beurre d’Arachide
2009MA06 to 2009DE31
LUNA Nutz Over Chocolate Saveur de Noix et Chocolat
2008OC28 to 2009DE31

In the United Kingdom (UK), the following products are included in the recall. Only bars that have the following dates1 on them, in all sizes and packages, are being recalled:

CLIF BAR Crunchy Peanut Butter
BEST BEFORE:
07NOV2008 to 31DEC2009
LUNA Nutz Over Chocolate Saveur de Noix et Chocolat
EXPIRY DATE/DATE D’EXPIRATION:
2008OC28 to 2009DE31

Updated (2/2/09) ZonePerfect bar’s parent company Abbott Nutrition announced a voluntary recall of 3 products.

Here is the official announcement:

Abbott Nutrition today announced that it is initiating a precautionary, voluntary recall of ZonePerfect® Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, ZonePerfect® Peanut Toffee bars and NutriPals™ Peanut Butter Chocolate bars in response to the widening recall involving peanut butter and peanut paste ingredients manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA was one of the peanut ingredient suppliers to the company.

The specified Abbott Nutrition items, sold in the U.S. and internationally (Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore) in various packages and quantities, have not been linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak and there have been no reported cases of the salmonella illness associated with ZonePerfect or NutriPals products. Abbott Nutrition tests every lot of finished ZonePerfect and NutriPals bars for salmonella and no salmonella contamination has been detected. This voluntary recall does not apply to Abbott Nutrition products sold in Canada.

Abbott Nutrition’s action to issue a voluntary recall was supported by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s advisement to manufacturers of an ongoing outbreak of salmonella involving peanut butter and peanut paste supplied by PCA. No other Abbott Nutrition products have been impacted by the PCA recall.

As part of its priority to ensure the safety and quality of all of its products, Abbott is issuing the voluntary recall. Abbott is working with retail partners to remove the specified products from retail store shelves and encouraging customers and consumers to verify if they have the specified products.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products are urged to destroy the product. U.S. consumers with questions or who would like a refund may contact Abbott Nutrition Consumer Relations at (800) 986-8884, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Consumers with questions or concerns about their health should contact their doctor.

Products impacted by the voluntary withdrawal are as follows:

  • ZonePerfect Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, all sizes and quantities
  • ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee bars, all sizes and quantities
  • NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate nutrition bars, all sizes and quantities

General Mills has announced that its Larabar and JamFrakas lines may be affected by the peanut butter recall.

General Mills announced today a voluntary recall of LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Cookie flavor snack bars and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp flavor snack bars because peanut butter in the products was sourced from Peanut Corporation of America, and may be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported in connection with LÄRABAR or JamFrakas products, and no other types, varieties or flavors of LÄRABAR or JamFrakas products are being recalled.

No other General Mills products are involved or impacted. See update below.

Peanut butter produced by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) has been implicated in an outbreak of salmonella. As the scope of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into this outbreak expanded this weekend, Peanut Corporation of America expanded its recall to additional lot codes of peanut butter. PCA supplied peanut butter to one of General Mills’ suppliers, including some lots that were part of the expanded recall, prompting General Mills to issue its own voluntary national Class I recall of the two LÄRABAR and JamFrakas products potentially involved.

LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Cookie flavor snack bars and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp flavor snack bars are distributed nationally under the LÄRABAR and JamFrakas brands, and are sold primarily as individual bars in grocery and specialty retail stores.
The specific products in this recall include:

LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Cookie
snack bars Individual Bar 54818-00014-7 Caddy (16-bar sleeve) 54818-00064-2 6-bar pack 93759-00298-8 6-bar, 6-pack case 93759-00299-5 UPC Case Code 54818-00085-7
JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp
snack bars Individual Bar 93759-00212-4 Caddy (18-bar sleeve) 93759-00213-1
UPC Case Code 93759-00214-8

A combined 15,000 cases of product are involved. This includes all production of these two particular flavors, which were introduced in June.

Consumers who have products covered by this recall are urged to dispose of the product, and to contact LÄRABAR or JamFrakas for a full refund. Consumers with questions or concerns about the recall may call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-543-2147 or visit www.generalmills.com.

Updated 2-12-09
The specific products in this recall include:

  • Cascadian Farm Peanut Butter Chip Chewy Granola Bars
    Individual Bar UPC 0 21908-40802 6 (Not Sold Individually)
    Carton (6 Bars) UPC 0 21908-14631 7
  • Cascadian Farm Sweet & Salty Mixed Nuts Chewy Granola Bars
    Individual Bar UPC 0 21908 50442 1 (Not Sold Individually)
    Carton (5 bars) UPC 0 21908 40774 6
  • Cascadian Farm Sweet & Salty Peanut Pretzel Chewy Granola Bars
    Individual Bar UPC 0 21908-50443 8 (Not Sold Individually)
    Carton (5 bars) UPC 0 21908 40775 3

Kashi announced a voluntary recall of select KASHI™ TLC™ CHEWY GRANOLA BAR flavors and all KASHI™ TLC™ CHEWY COOKIE flavors. The official list is here (pdf).

  • Kashi™ TLC™ Chewy Granola Bars in Trail Mix and Honey Almond Flax varieties, 7.4-ounce box with a “Best If Used Before” date prior to September 19, 2009 and followed by the letters CD (SEP 19 2009 CD), with the following UPC codes: 1862703000, 1862703001, 1862723959, 1862728409, 1862731567.
  • Kashi™ TLC™ Chewy Granola Bars Peanut Peanut Butter, 7.4-ounce box with a “Best If Used Before” date prior to August 8, 2009 and followed by the letters CD (AUG 08 2009 CD), with the following UPC codes: 1862703002.
  • Kashi™ TLC™ Chewy Cookies in Oatmeal Dark Chocolate, Happy Trail Mix and Oatmeal Raisin Flax varieties only, 8.5-ounce box with a “Best If Used Before” date prior to July 30, 2009, with the following UPC codes: 1862732467, 1862742593, 1862762001, 1862762002, 1862762003.

Nature’s Path has issued a voluntary recall of the following prodcuts:

No illnesses have been reported in connection with Optimum Energy Bars and we believe the risk to be low because the bars are baked. No other Nature’s Path products are being recalled. The peanut butter in all other Nature’s Path products is sourced from Golden Boy Foods in British Columbia, Canada, which is in no way involved in the investigation.

The affected products are marked BEST BEFORE 01OCT09A, 03FEB09B, and 29APR09B.

If you have an Optimum Energy Bar Peanut Butter flavor with these expiration date, return it to the retail store where you purchased it for a full refund. If you have any questions at all please call the Nature’s Path customer service line at 1-866-880-7284.

Trader Joe’s has announcedthe following voluntary recall of their branded products:
1. Trader Joe’s Celery with Peanut Butter
2. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars
3. Trader Joe’s Nutty Chocolate Chewy Coated & Drizzle Granola Bars
4. Trader Joe’s Sliced Green Apples with All Natural Peanut Butter
5. Trader Ming’s Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Rice Bowl
6. Trader Joe’s Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu
7. Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
8. Trader Joe’s Sutter’s Formula Cookies (only sold in our SoCal; AZ; NM and NV stores)
9. Trader Joe’s Vegan Trail Mix Cookies (only sold in our SoCal; AZ; NM and NV stores)
10. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies (only sold in our GA; IL; IN; MI; MN; MO; OH; Pittsburgh, PA; TN; and WI stores)

[tags] PowerBar, Salmonella, Gatorade, Clif Bars, Larabar, Mars, Zone Perfect, Kashi, Cascadian, Trader Joes, Optimum Energy[/tags]

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