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Food, Fitness and Philanthropy

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In true form, the 30th anniversary Aspen 2012 FOOD & WINE Classic kicked off with a major party (huge pans of paella by José Andrés and a river of great wine) and went well into the early hours of June 15. But at daybreak—hangover or not—there were no excuses.

More than 300 chefs, attendees and residents pulled on their running gear for a 7:15 am start and got on their fitness—and philanthropy—with a 5K run in the nearly 8,000-foot altitude of Aspen, Colorado. If you’re going to sample exquisite food and wine for 4 days, you need to balance it with some exercise—and you might as well raise money for a good cause while you’re at it.

This year was the 5th anniversary of FOOD & WINE magazine’s charity initiative Grow for Good, which supports local and sustainable agriculture. To mark the occasion, celebrity chef Bobby Flay hosted the 5K run, which benefited Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables more accessible and more affordable.

Wholesome Wave fosters strong links between local agriculture and underserved communities. Its goal is “a more vibrant and equitable food system for all people.” The nonprofit’s work has spread to 28 states, spanning more than 60 community-based organizations that manage more than 300 farm-to-retail venues and impact nearly 2,500 farmers, says its website.

First celebrity chef across the finish line? New York City’s Marcus Samuelsson (winner of Top Chef Masters, Season 2) kept a 7:16-per-mile pace and hit the tape 12th overall (8th among men) with a 22:34 finish. Host Flay was 29th overall with a 7:51 pace and a 24.20 finish.


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Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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