Besides missing all the races during big runDisney race weekends, there are so many other great events that I was pretty bummed to miss out on. Like the Cigna Blogger Cook-Off, it sounded SO FUN! Cooking in Disney with a bunch of running bloggers! Well since I couldn’t attend, the first person that popped in my head was RAD contributor Hannah from Mission to Marathon. I knew she would have a blast and it looks like she did…check it out!
I was really excited to have the opportunity to attend the Cigna Blogger Cook-Off at Walt Disney World Marathon event!
The event was held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at one of the outdoor tent/pavilion areas. Normally at Disney this would be an awesome location. Unfortunately, mother nature swooped in and gave us some chilly, damp weather that made it pretty cold and icky to be outside. But, cheers to CIGNA and Disney for finding some great blankets for everyone to use to keep warm!
I was a little nervous because this was my first blogger event and I didn’t know anyone, but everyone was very friendly and two other bloggers came and sat down with me. Smitha, from FauxRunner.com was super nice. I forget the other woman’s name (I should learn to write things down, or take phone notes, oops!). Smitha was running Dopey and sounded a lot like me when I say, I’m not a runner, I just run, haha!
The event started with an intro and some info from Pascale Jean, Cigna’s Health Promotion Manager and nutritionist. She was great to hear speak and offered some tips on getting to the finish, especially if you were doing Dopey.
We were then divided up into teams and assigned a chef from Disney. Our Chef was PJ who gave us lots of tips and told us all about being a Disney chef. He said he was working the Race Retreat and was telling us how they had to prep all the food overnight so it was ready for the morning. The food sounded so good! Maybe I’ll try race retreat for my next race?!
We were given a “mystery” protein at each group and ours’ had beef. We got working pretty quickly and decided to do a beef stew (at the suggestion of PJ). There were tables with herbs, spices, starches, and vegetables. I was a little surprised I didn’t see potatoes. Up here in Pennsylvania, beef stew has potatoes in it, haha.
We ended up with a delicious beef stew made with red wine, herbs, and vegetables. On the side we had pan roasted vegetables and some rice. It smelled sooo good and tasted just as delicious. Two of the people in my group were from Pennsylvania so it was really cool to meet someone from home when I was so far away. Funny how that happens so often, right?
Because of the cold we ended up huddling around the cooking food to keep warm. Everyone was very friendly and talking about their races, training, food, and their blogs.
The other groups had vegan/vegetarian protein (not sure what that was because they didn’t have a lot so it didnt’ end up on the final buffet), shrimp, chicken, pork, and turkey.
Everything turned out so good! Once we were done cooking, Chef Mickey showed up for some photo ops! Yay for Chef Mickey!
By then everything was done cooking and on the buffet so we could finally eat (I was starving)! Yum! The blogger prepped foods were very good and the buffet also included some rolls, salad and finished off with a chocolate chip bread pudding (sooo good) and berries.
Before we left they handed everyone a gift bag with some Cigna branded products (chap stick, band-aid packet, etc) and a Disney Gift Card.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend this event. It made me feel re-invigorated and want to blog more, but also to seek out more bloggers to follow. I have my staples, but I’d love to read about what other people are doing.
By the way, Cigna was promoting healthy lifestyle choices and celebrating the things that get runners to the start and finish line by using the Blippar App to Blipp images during the race weekend. I’m new to the whole Blippar thing so I’ll be spending some time figuring it out, but it looks pretty cool!
Thanks Cigna for a really cool event and thanks to Sarah for inviting me to attend!
Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run). She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at www.workorrun.com, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.