Marathon politics and food…

Toronto Marathon(s?):

The 2009 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon start line boasted an impressive display at city hall.

After a week of speculation and intrigue over the future of the two Toronto fall marathons, the city has extended a final opportunity for the two groups to figure it out. They now have two weeks to decide which of them will move to the spring, or the city will begin accepting RFPs, including third party bids.

If you’re not familiar with the situation, Toronto has two marathons — the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon — that are three weeks apart from each other. This past fall saw  years of rivalry between the two races come to a head when many in the city were fed up with the various Sunday road closures being so close together. I’m sure that it’s an election year in our grand ol’ city doesn’t help the situation either.

Aestus, myself and Thomas at the starting line of the 2009 Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon.

So now we Toronto runners get to wait some more to see what happens. There seems to be progress according to the story appearing in the Toronto Star yesterday. Jay Glassman of the Goodlife marathon is quoted as saying, “we’re open to moving.” Given the self-described “grass roots” feel of the race, it might make more sense for it to move to the spring, despite being the older of the two races.

Allan Brooks of the Scotiabank marathon talks in the same article of bringing in more elite athletes from around the world to add “star power” to the event.

Regardless of promises, both camps have until the February 22 city council meeting to come to a resolution.

Now on to lighter topics…


A while back I heard about how great quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is. Shortly after, I picked up a small bag of organic quinoa that has sat in my pantry. That was, until last week.

Last week, while reading in the blogosphere, I came across a post on Frayed Laces, where she mentioned that she cooked her quinoa in a rice cooker. This peeked my interest, because I thought it had to be done by some miraculous method that I had no clue had to do. I had a rice cooker. I had quinoa, and I had water — I could do this.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=quinoa&iid=5281095″ src=”1/f/e/2/Quinoa_full_frame_d6ab.jpg?adImageId=9839986&imageId=5281095″ width=”234″ height=”236″ /]If you don’t know what I’m talking about, quinoa is a seed that originated in the Andean region of South America and is related to beats and spinach. It functions much the same way as rice, but is known for being somewhat of a super food. It is very high in protein and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids (making it a complete protein). It is also easily digested, gluten free, a good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron.

Frayed’s instructions are to put 1 cup of dry Quinoa to 2 parts water (or vegetable broth) into the rice cooker. It turned out perfectly. Last week was all about putting something on a bed of quinoa.

This week’s theme is somewhat similar, but with a small difference: it’s all about mixing things into the quinoa.

Enter Mr. Carrot and Ms. Leek. I bought a bag of the ginormous carrots this week, so I took one of those and grated it (yielding roughly 2 cups). I then took the leek and chopped that up. I heated a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and combined the carrot and leek with is and sautéed for 5-10 minutes. When it was done I mixed this with a batch of the quinoa. It looks like this:

It tastes fantastic! Once this batch is gone, I’m going to try a Mediterranean theme — sun-dried tomatoes, black olives…

If any of you have quinoa recipes and are holding out, please share!


9 responses to “Marathon politics and food…

  1. I saw a show on the Food Network just the other day about quinoa. It was Michael Smith’s show, Chef at Home.

    It is simple to prepare and looks delicious! More info here:

  2. BTW-if you make this salad, let me know how it turns out. I’m prepared to go out and get quinoa and give it a try.

  3. I love quinoa and always looking for a way to cook it, good to know I can use my rice cooker! Thanks for posting.

    As for the races, I doubt these two will ever, ever be able to come to an understanding. They are bitter enemies. It was very interesting to read various documents including council minutes from 2000 so the problem is not new. I do hope that they can come up with something that might not please everybody (you can’t) but that will be a great alternative. Moving it in the spring might not be such a bad idea although it would be in direct competition with Ottawa, which is a very popular race.

    Time will tell… who knows, we may even have Rock ‘N Roll series establishing themselves in Toronto! LOL

  4. I’m waiting with bated breath…Matt, you ran both but didn’t comment on which one you preferred? Or did I miss it?

    Maybe we could all get together and write a proposal for our ideal route. I have a feeling it would include parts from both of the existing races. It would be a fun activity, seeing everyone’s ideal 42.2 runs. Mine has a lot of trails!

    • I agree on the proposal Alli! I ran both halfs, so I’m not sure I can accurately comment on the marathons, but Scotia was definitely a more professionally organized run and much more of the calibre that I think the city is looking for. That said, I like the Goodlife route better and felt it covered more of the city. I’m planning on running the Scotia marathon in September, so maybe I’ll change my mind when I’ve run all the way to the beaches ;-)

  5. In the last couple months I went from (essentially) not knowing that Quinoa existed to hearing about its awesomeness from a bizarrely large portion of my friends and acquaintances.

    I suppose it’s time to try it out (the high protein content is particularly encouraging)! Thanks for the cooking suggestions…

  6. It makes for a good breakfast or dessert too! Just add some diced up apple, some cinnamon and some milk (soymilk for you) and reheat it for a couple of minutes.

    • Good call Charlotte – that sounds great! I also tried making it with sun-dried tomatoes, herbes de provence and nuts and it was fantastic. Think I might try a lemon dill version too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s