COOKING WITH KORT

Shashuka

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Shashuka is a dish of eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. It is of Tunisian origin and is now popular among many ethnic groups of the Middle East and North-Africa. It makes the perfect post long run brunch for one or the squad.

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, divided

- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces

- 1 medium onion, finely chopped

- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

- 2 large chopped jalapenos

- 1 cup of black pitted olives

- 1 teaspoon ground cumin

- 4 large eggs

- 1 block of halloumi cheese

- Salt and Pepper

- Hot sauce for serving

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Slice 2 garlic cloves. Toss with tomatoes, onion, 3 tablespoons oil, parsley and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until the tomatoes are shriveled and browned, about 45 minutes.

3. Chop the remaining garlic clove. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped jalapenos; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato mixture, salt, and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Make 4 deep indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and carefully crack an egg into each. Add quarter inch slices of halloumi cheese and black olives. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low until the whites are set, 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with hot sauce, if desired. Serve with pita bread.

RUN IN THE SUN

We came to Oahu's North Shore on holiday with close friends to celebrate and relax, but many of us were also weeks into our marathon training plans with lofty goals set for the fall. 

We knew that this wouldn't be your typical beach vacation; it wouldn't be all suntans, waves and drinks on the beach. Our training plans didn't seem to care that we were spending some time in paradise and thus we still had to put in the work. Thankfully one of us had been to this area many times and knew some great spots to run. That doesn't mean we didn't do some exploring, just that one of us always had a good idea how to get  back.

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We learned rather quickly that we needed to avoid the hottest parts of the day, so we'd rise early in the morning for runs. Knowing that all of our runs would finish with a soak in the ocean made all the difference when setting the alarm for early o'clock. One of our mid-distance runs took us up a long winding road to Puu O Mahuka Heiau, a religious temple site that dates back to the 1600's with incredible views out over Waimea Bay. The tree lined road to the temple offered some coverage from the sun which was a welcome change. Sometimes avoiding the sun and its heat was impossible like on our Sunday long run in Mokuleia.  We knew the sun wouldn't show any mercy on the long stretches of open and flat road but they were great for maintaining pace and would eventually lead to a beautiful trail and the western most tip of the island. The view didn't disappoint even if a few of us came close to death to get there.

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For speed work we hit a track at Kahuku High and Intermediate School, in the town of Kahuku. Circling it would leave our shoes and legs covered in a red grimy film like we had been training in Iten, Kenya. Like those who travel to Iten, we, without really noticing, had turned our vacation in the sun into our own mini training camp, but I'm sure our schedule involved much less running and way more beach time.

While most of our down times was spent in the ocean, on the beach or eating we did spend one early morning climbing the 3,922 stairs and 2480 feet of elevation up the Haiku stairs. This wasn't your typical off day; after a 1am wake up call, climbing through a storage drain, sweet talking a security guard and surviving the wind and rain we were rewarded with an unforgettable experience and view. Pictures or words cannot come close to doing it justice.

Some may think that vacations and marathon training don't really go together, and it does in fact seem difficult to do both well, but we some how managed to find the perfect balance of laying on the beach and getting out for runs. Having your good friends and travel companions also be your training partners makes striking this balance much easier and way more fun.

RUN YOUR SPIRIT CLEAN

Recently a group of 9 runners (re: adventurers) from Toronto traveled with Off The Grid to Oaxaca, Mexico to run its surrounding mountains. This journey, curated and led by local running group, Aire Libre, turned out to be much more than any of them bargained for.  Below is an account from, Justin Close, one of those that made the trip. 

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“It’s like… everything has a meaning” James said, looking at us from across his plate of quesadillas and hot cup of atole. We burst out laughing at the naivety of what he just said. At the time, James was referring to a burrito translating into English as “little donkey”, but after returning back to Toronto from a week in Oaxaca City and the Sierra Norte mountains, I’ve realized that what he said that evening was far more impactful than I could have imagined.

I can probably speak for everyone who went when I say that the fourth iteration of Off The Grid in Oaxaca, Mexico pushed us all out of our comfort zone. Some of us had never been outside of Canada or the continental U.S., most of us didn’t own the proper shoes or equipment needed for long trail runs until the day before we left, and barely anyone spoke Spanish. But, more often than not, being pushed outside one’s comfort zone is an incredibly humbling experience and really encourages one to grow.

We arrived in Oaxaca and immediately felt the warm embrace of the sun—something we had been without for several months now. Within those first few hours in the city, we were met at our hotel by Daniel and Ana, two amazing photographers and members of the Aire Libre running collective. That first night, we gorged ourselves on some of the finest Oaxacan cuisine (agave worms, ants, and grasshoppers included) and romanced mezcal. Daniel & Ana spent the next few days showing us around, patiently translating menus, organizing excursions, and being incredibly gracious hosts. It’s safe to say we would’ve been lost without them and how immediately they welcomed us into their family.

The fun and relaxation of the city was much needed for many of us, but the running we were doing was already proving to be a challenge. The altitude, pollution, and the occasional low-hanging razor wire caught many of us off guard and made us wonder how we would fare when the altitude was doubled and the terrain more unpredictable in the Sierra Norte. We just had to trust that like so many aspects of the trip thus far, everything would just keep getting better.

After a long third day of running, eating, shopping, and more eating, our group loaded up a couple vans with our bags and set off on a 3-hour drive up the mountains. By this time, we had met up with the rest of the Aire Libre crew, but it wouldn’t be until later that evening that we were properly introduced. The sun was setting as we made our way down the highway and out of city, and as we drove higher and higher up the mountain, constellations slowly began illuminating the sky. The further we went up, the brighter the stars got and the cell service became non-existent. After arriving in the small village of Llano Grande, we shared a light meal and sipped coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and each of us shared why we were there. Looking back at this moment, I have no doubt that every person in that room got more than they could have ever expected out of this trip.

The rest of the night and much of the next morning was spent shivering as we prepared for our first trail run in the mountains. The altitude left many of us short of breath while we walked up the small hill for breakfast. That morning we set off, bundled up in long sleeves, tights, vests, and headbands, but by 8 kilometres and the end of the first leg of our day’s run, many of us were down to short sleeves and looking to change into shorts. Temperature change notwithstanding, we had made it! We jogged into Cuajimoloyas and survived the first part of journey. Adrenaline surged through our body as we prepared ourselves for the rest of our adventure. For the next fourteen or so kilometres that day, our guide Carlos led us up to forested lookout points and down dusty pine needle-laden trails, culminating in an insane ascent up to his home village of Latuvi. 

The day prior, when Mau (one of the co-founders of Aire Libre) told me that Carlos was a beast, I can honestly say that I was not expecting those words to be so true. Carlos ran every single kilometre in long, heavy basketball shorts and an old pair of Nike high-tops that had been worn slick. Running with him and seeing him almost float across these trails and climb hills without breaking a sweat really put things in perspective when most of us were totally geared out and had spent so much of the beginning of the trip touting the benefits of a merino blend running shirt, or comparing the new trail shoes we had just recently bought. When we arrived at Latuvi though, our perspective had shifted. We were no longer comparing gear, but sharing stories over cold Coronas about how epic the trails were and how much our quads would hurt the next day. That evening we ate, laughed, drank, and practiced yoga as the sun went down over the mountains and some local children looked on and laughed at us.

When we woke up the next morning we practiced our mindfulness, reflecting on what we’ve experienced, and preparing ourselves for what was to come. We developed our personal mantras that would prove invaluable for those moments on the trail when our muscles cramped and ached but we had to keep pushing ourselves. As we ran the fourteen kilometres to Lachatao, we passed revolutionary trenches, century-old Spanish bridges, Zapotec trail markings, and ran through the forest of ghost trees (trees with wispy strands of white moss that hung down from their branches). There was such a unique tension that was experienced while running this leg—the desire to push forward and fly across the technical terrain, and the desire to just stop, walk, and take in all the scenery. Eventually the trail ended and we came upon a dusty road where Ana and our support van were. When we found out that it was only 3km to Lachatao and the end of our run that day, we dropped our hydration packs into the van, lightened our load, and took off like a pack of wolves through the rolling hills towards the village square. The exhilaration of pushing pace with one another was only a fraction of the excitement that would occur that day. 

After lunch we met up with the village’s shaman who, wearing blue jeans, a white traditional Oaxacan shirt, and a red bandana, looked like he could very well have been a Cheech & Chong impersonator. Our group gathered in a circle around him as he prepared to perform a limpia —a traditional ceremony to cleanse one’s aura. He assembled wild basil, eggs, mescal, and burned copal, which he would use to invoke the gods and cleanse us of our negative energies. First, he covered us in the smoke of the burning copal, then he individually brushed us with us with our bouquets of basil. He then proceeded to rub the shelled egg over our limbs, and when he brought out the mezcal and spat it all over the first person in the group, we tried incredibly hard not to laugh. As the process went on, person-by-person, the laughter stopped. Time passed and the sun was beginning to go down. You could tell everyone was starting to get antsy. An hour passed and he wasn’t halfway through the group. Many of us began to wonder whether this was worth the wait. As my turn approached, I stood in front of him and tried my best to disconnect. The shaman chanted and invoked the gods and did what he had done to everyone else, coating me in a perfumed blend of copal, basil, egg, and mezcal. After he finished with me and move on to the next person in the circle, I eventually opened my eyes. I can’t exactly describe the feeling, but I felt an inner-calmness. My body, which felt fragmented by a multitude of experiences, emotions, and the pain from running, now felt whole.

The next part of the limpia would prove to be even more transformational. In small groups we entered the temazcal—a small igloo-like clay structure meant to symbolize the mother’s womb. We were handed another bouquet of herbs and maracas and flutes (some of us *cough* Jess *cough* clearly did not know how to play the flute, and almost choked on it). We sat cross-legged around the temazcal, forming a circle around a pit in the centre. Rocks, which had just been in a fire outside were shovelled into the pit and the shaman entered and closed the door behind him, engulfing us in darkness, heat, and steam from water poured on to the rocks. Over the course of the next hour, the temperature would rise significantly and we would sweat like never before. The shaman led us through various chants, songs, and primal sounds, totally immersing us in an experience of rebirth. Needless to say, we slept like babies that night.

We packed up the van early the next morning and drove back to Latuvi to eat breakfast and start the final legs of our journey. Setting out that morning, many of us knew we’d need our mantras to get us through the day. All we’ve gotta do is just keep moving forward, I said to myself. No stopping, just keep moving forward. KMF. My quads burned and trembled over the next 10 kilometres. After about 6k, I knew I had to really push if I wanted to make it to the next village. I loaded up some music on my iPhone and set it in the front pocket of my hydration pack. There was no need for talking anymore as Mau and I charged up the next hill, the tempo set by Kanye’s Highlights. We ran stride for stride for several kilometres, emerging from the trail and descending down into the village of La Neveria. 

As a group we spent the next several hours eating our final lunch together and preparing for the last 8km of the trip. After lunch, we hiked to explore a local waterfall and prepped ourselves for the final run. Carlos explained the route to us, and despite many of us catching the words “ muy grande” and “intenso”, when it was translated into English, it was described as a “super chill run, mostly flat, with a little bit of a hill at the end. By this point, we had caught on—the word “flat” to Mexicans meant “rolling hills with a 500m+ elevation gain”. Despite the absurdity of the incline of the next part of run, we kept moving forward. You forget how steep the terrain is, or the abundance of lactic acid in your legs and just give in to your surroundings when the trail you’re on is surrounded by 8ft agave plants. And then the trail ends. You hike up the last 400m of steep hill and everything starts coming together. With every one of those steps you start to reflect on the experience you had over the past week. Every time you pushed yourself, every time you stepped outside of your comfort zone, every smile and laugh you shared with a group of people you now consider your family… everything is starting to make sense. Everything has a meaning. After that climb up the hill, each one of us stood at the foot of a 100m long suspension bridge and ran towards these new family members. The bridge would sway and shake with every step, but the perseverance to keep moving forward remained sturdy. 

Over the course of the week we spent in Oaxaca, our minds, bodies, and expectations were pushed to the limits. We were humbled by the culture, the beauty, the history, and the landscape among many other things; and, as is the essence of any OTG adventure, we found new ways of connecting with others and ourselves. Most importantly, what we may have lacked in expectations more than made up for itself in memories.

-Justin Close

2016 Cabot Trail Relay

Recently some of OTG's close friends in running and life took to the hills of Cape Breton to tackle the Cabot Trail Relay.  17 strong and determined women climbed mountains, concurred the darkness and inspired all who experienced their journey through the screens of their phones and computers.  Here is a sampling of the photos some of them shared through social media. Check #campsaturdays and #relaycollective on Instagram for more. Thanks for sharing and being badasses ladies!

Canadian Runner Takes on the Barkley Marathons

Vancouver's own, Gary Robbins travelled to Tennessee for the 2016 Barkley Marathons and made it further than any Canadian in the history of the race has.  A truly unique race that is difficult to explain and next to impossible to complete, Barkleys calls for participants to tear a page from specific books to prove they reached the checkpoints. 

Robbins was running on about 90hrs without sleep and made it four and a half loops into the five loop course before time expired.  His sleep deprivation caused him to make a key navigational error, wander in circles through parts of the forest and hallucinate.  

A fixture on the trail and ultra running scene for years, Robbins plans on returning to the tough terrain of Frozen Head State Park in the near future to complete one of the worlds most bizarre races.

Peep Robbins' race recapp here

Musings from Off The Grid:

The Speed Project

So we are a few days out from running The Speed Project and things are all in place. 

It turns out having all of the information can be just as scary as not having enough. We’ve got enough maps, guidelines for runners and drivers, lists, and aerial photographs to make the most worrisome person even more worried. My type A personality likes getting lots of info but I'm definitely suffering from a bit of information overload.  

The past concerns of snakes and wild dogs and the new, potentially more serious problem of desert-roaming-meth-heads, will be dealt with in a manner that threatens to be more violent than I would care for. Our LA based contact has secured us pepper spray, stun guns, an RV and muscle.  We graciously turned down (for now) real guns, and a bike gang.  

It has been nice to have these types of concerns to distract me from the fact that I’m about to run 90km in two days through LA streets, Death Valley, and into Vegas. Collectively our team of 6 runners and 2 supporters will cover 340 miles. How does one prepare the body and, possibly more importantly, the mind to take on a challenge like that? I don't think there is one correct answer but any answer would have to involve running a lot.  

The time for preparation is done, we are days away so its too late to make up for missed training sessions. The only thing left to do is step outside of our comfort zones and enjoy the adventure; I just hope the desert-roaming-meth-heads can’t keep up.

Follow Up:

90KM in 1 Day Through a Desert: The Video

Did you enjoy the interview with Knox Robinson about his 90km run through a desert with a few friends while in Mexico? We knew you would. We also know you'll love the video. Watch it, be inspired and then go, get off the grid. 

Musings from Off The Grid:

The Speed Project

Recently a few friends and I committed to running in a relay from LA to Vegas called The Speed Project. Now this is totally an Off The Grid experience for me as it is completely outside of my comfort zone, but they say that's where personal growth happens, right? 

Beginning before sunrise on the Santa Monica pier and ending under the bright lights of the Vegas strip, the speed project is no joke. 300+ miles to be covered by 6 runners, supported by 2 dear friends responsible for driving, first aid, navigation, protection and the provision of good stories.  With crazy temperature and elevation changes, through dserts and major cities we are in for an epic adventure.

Attempting to find out additional information on this relay is next to impossible. I'm not an internet searching wizard by any means but as far as I can tell their is no website, Facebook page or Instagram account that offers any sort of decent insight. I deduced this to be a choice by the relay organizers to continue a sense of mystery and to perpetuate the feelings of fear that people like me are dealing (or not dealing) with. Let me point out that it is universally understood that withholding information in most situations (in business or otherwise) is in poor taste and leads to mistrust and spoiled relationships.

So far the only communication and information provided has been through email, what is this 1999? When scanning the email, cause honestly no one actually reads emails completely, words like snakes, wild dogs, barb wire and cold jump out at you. I've figured out that seeing these words in relation to a race leads people to feel one of two ways.

1) Badass- like, "Awesome! This is going to be great, I've never run from snakes and wild dogs while hurdling barbed wire before."

Or

2) What the fuck did I sign up for?

I fall squarely into the second camp recalling my fear of wild dogs, snakes and barbed wire. These fears aren't based on any of my own real life experiences but rather on the experiences of people I (kinda) know. People like Aladdin, yeah that's right, that Aladdin. A loveable, down on his luck, kind hearted rascal of a boy who only wants some bread and the love of the beautiful Jasmine. But in steps the evil villain Jafar, not just any villain but the primary villain in the Disney Villians franchise. What does Jafar carry you ask?...a snake shaped staff. Jafar is basically the human representation of a snake. Sneaky, short tempered, and willing to strike at anything at any time, provoked or not. Young man in the desert on a flying carpet or young people running in the desert, both are in for a battle. How this doesn't seriously concern anyone else is beyond me.

Maybe its my fault for googling “snake attacks Las Vegas” but I can’t un-see what I’ve already read.  Here are a few stories from the search.

Snake attacks man at Las Vegas swap meet

Las Vegas toddler survives 300lb snake attack

Man suffers injuries in snake attack

Whoa! Hold up, a 300lb snake! That can’t be real. Wrong, it is, and if you are brave enough to click the link you’ll read how it basically took a half dozen police officers, animal control and the babies knife wielding mother to stop the snake from squeezing the life out of the baby.  I know, I know, it ended ok and the baby survived, but unless my team has room in our RV for 6 police officers, some animal control workers and my mom, I don't like our chances.  Honestly though, what are we supposed to do if we come across a 325lb, 18ft snake?  I’m being serious, do you go for an eye gouge or play dead, what is the protocol?    

My fears don't end there. I'm also fairly concerned with the wild dog thing. We all know what wild dogs are capable of.  If one wild dog (re: dingo) can take a baby from under the watchful eye of its parents, what are a pack of them capable of doing to a dehydrated and delirious runner in the middle of the night? Regular people get attacked by dogs that we provide shelter, feed and love like children so its pretty dumb to think that the dogs we've basically neglected and starved are going to just let us run by without incident. 

This may seem like a joke, but while doing "research" for this I came across some deeply troubling information. "In 2011, in an article on the Stray Dog Population, the U.S. National Animal Interest Alliance said that the rabies epidemic in stray dogs around the world has transformed into a global public health issue". The World Health Organization also released these alarming stats:

  •  There are 200 million stray dogs worldwide
  •  More than 55,000 people die from rabies each year
  • Dogs are the primary source of human rabies deaths

Do the math! We are going to come into contact with a wild dog, someone is more than likely getting rabies from that wild dog and then I think you can connect the dots from there.  It's terrible to say but I just hope it's not me.

I'm not even going to go into the barbed wire thing but I will ask you this. What is the barbed wire keeping out or in?

Think about it….Yeah, exactly.

We are one week out from the registration deadline and 5 weeks out from the relay. We’ve been promised more info soon but unless this information includes detailed ways to deal with the fears I’ve laid out above I’m not sure what the point would be. It’s not like I'm going to back out now though, I’ve already bought flights, hotels and a flying carpet.

To be continued...

MG

90KM in 1 Day Through a Desert

 

NYC run coach, Black Roses run crew co-founder and one of the greatest current contributors to running culture, Knox Robinson, ran through the Mexico's Sonoran Desert with a few friends from NYC and "a loose-knit collective of young creatives" called Aire Libre in a true Off The Grid experience.  Head over to Amuse to read the full story.

SPRINT STEP TELLS OTC'S STORY, VISUALLY

See what training with an elite group of Olympic hopefully looks like by checking out the work of creation agency Sprint Step.  Take a look at the Oregon Track Club runners through the lenses of Sean Lee, Fred Goris, John Jefferson, and Zach Hetrick by heading to the Sprint Step site and checking out the beautiful images.  

SEE WHAT WE'VE GOT COOKING

If you've missed the OTG retreats you've missed a lot. Good people, good workouts and good food. In the coming months this spot will be bringing you a little bit of the experience that our team works so hard to create outside of the city. So look here for a sample of what we do when we are away. No travel necessary.  

Frst up...

Kortnee's Country Kitchen

When we asked Kortnee Borden to be our resident chef at Off The Grid we knew he'd easily handle all of our food needs. What we didn't know is that he would absolutely kill it. He has almost single handedly made the OTG retreats as much about quality food as they are about quality work outs. He's our real MVP when we get away and we've asked him to share a retreat staple. So here it is...

Kale Salad

Kale (1 bunch - chopped)

2 Chicken Breast (boneless/skinless)
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
4 Green Onion (chopped)
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Miso Paste

1 Tbsp Ginger (grated)
1/2 Cup Walnuts (chopped)
Sesame Seeds
Nori (Seaweed) (cut into thin strips)

Pre-heat oven to 375.

Place chicken breast in a roasting pan and drizzle soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil on chicken. Once oven is heated place the pan in the oven for 40-45 mins (turn chicken over at the half way point).

In a large salad bowl, add chopped kale, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and seaweed.

In a small bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and miso paste. Mix until miso has emulsified into the dressing.

Once chicken is cooked. Take the pan out of the oven and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 mins. After it has rested cut the chicken breast into 1/2 inch strips to place in salad.

Add chick breast to the large salad bowl. Drizzle dressing on salad (add as much or as little as you please). Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions into salad bowl. Toss the salad.

Serve and enjoy!

Kortnee's Notes:

This is a great salad for post runs. Easy to make and packed full of protein. This is definitely my "go-to" after a long run during a training cycle. A good vegetarian/vegan option is to replace the chicken breast with tempeh.

 

Vintage Boxcar Cottage + Home

We first found Vera, and her little red boxcar cottage, on Airbnb while searching for a location for the winter edition of Off The Grid. We were immediately excited by all of the possibilities the location, accommodations and amenities afforded us. The winter edition of OTG was always going to be about the contrast between hot and cold and it's benefits for performance and Vera's property worked perfectly for our plan because of its infrared sauna, chemical free hot tub and pool, acres of property and kilometers of trails to explore. The success of our winter retreat had a lot to do with Vera, her unique boxcar, her beautiful home and the surrounding terrain.  The retreat would not have been the same any where else and we are happy and thankful Vera welcomed us in and contributed to the unique experience that is Off The Grid. 

That's A Wrap...

The winter edition of Off The Grid ended last week and we couldn't be happier with the way it all went down.  Together we ran long country roads and winding wooded trails, worked on our breathing and mental strength with meditation techniques, practiced yoga, pushed through a met-con class, ate like kings and queens, watched movies, swam, hot tubbed and enjoyed every moment we spent escaping from our daily lives.  Special shout out to all of those that attended, our sponsors and supporters, but especially our resident chef Kortnee Borden, Kate Evans of City Yogis and Jenny McConnell from Academy of Lions, who gave their time and expertise to make the retreat a success. It was a special three days that worked perfectly to bring 2015 to a close and kick start all that is to come in the year ahead.  We've got plans to provide you with more opportunities to run away, so stay tuned.  

Off The Grid Podcast | Ep #1 | Stories From Outside The Comfort Zone

Off The Grid started with a problem. 

Running in the city is fun, challenging, fluid, exciting and lends itself to making good friends quickly. We have busy lives, and our weekly Run Crew meet-ups provide opportunities to find out more about each other while heading in the same direction. 

But the city is demanding. There are many things competing for our attention and time. We all want things, too. Big things, like better times, faster paces, fitter bodies, calmer minds and success in just about everything we do. City people choose to stretch themselves beyond what may be humanly possible. Or was - once. 

All of this is good and necessary for evolution - personally, professionally, athletically. But the body & mind require time and space to assimilate everything we put them through in the name of progress & success. 

We thought to ourselves, wouldn't it be great to get away for a bit. But not away from our friends and fellow runners. We wanted to go with them, and experience some new things in new places but with the same community.

That's when we started to solve the problem. 

Listen to the podcast. We're telling the story in our own voices. And we hope to tell more of them as time goes on as we meet people who have their own stories of escaping the comfort zone. 

SPOTLIGHT

Off The Grid doesn't happen without the effort, time and sacrifices of these supporters, collaborators and teammates

 Allister Lee

We, at Off The Grid, are happy to count Allister Lee as one of our friends, supporters and creatives. Allister is a very accomplished And respected graphic artist who specializes in branding and the creation of "graphic collateral" for clients such as Nike, The North Face, adidas, Marie Clare, Supreme, and Converse, among many others. He is the man behind our logos, hand made signs and a few of our very best ideas. Having experienced Woodfield Farm, the site of the inaugural OTG, and worked closely with us on the daily, we are thankful that Allister gets our vision and ideas and will be a big part of bringing them to life in the future. 

SPOTLIGHT

Off The Grid doesn't happen without the effort, time and sacrifices of these supporters, collaborators and teammates

G6 Climbing Apparel/Low Gravity Design  

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What started as a few T-shirts for a weekend away with friends has developed into a growing business with a meaningful identity in the Canadian climbing community. 

James Koka started his printing business making custom designed rock climbing appareal (G6 Rock Climbing Appareal), but has since expanded to print for local run clubs including Parkdale Roadrunners, Blacktoe Running, Castle Runners, Tribe Fitness and companies such as Nike and New Balance under the name "Low Gravity Design". James loves the outdoors, is an avid runner and has supported us, at Off The Grid, from the start by being a willing participant and providing great and timely service. Since both OTG and G6/Low Gravity Design were born out of active lifestyles and a need to escape the hustle of the city it only makes sense that a quality, rock-solid partnership has developed.  

SPOTLIGHT

Off The Grid doesn't happen without the effort, time and sacrifices of these supporters, collaborators and teammates.

Biosteel

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Biosteel was created by veteran strength and conditioning coach Matt Nichol, to provide professional athletes with a better line of nutritional products, as he feared what was available at the time was doing more harm than good. It has since gone on to be the #1 purchased nutrition product in North American pro sport and used by everyday athletes the world over. Biosteel is one of the cleanest sports nutrition products an everyday athlete can get (sugar, caffeine, gluten, additive and preservative free) and since it was created for the highest caliber athletes it contains only the best ingredients.  Available in a huge variety of products and packaging from electrolyte supplements and whey protein to nutritional bars and vegan protein packets there is bound to be something that works for your body and activity. Off The Grid is excited to be offering retreat participants a wide sampling of Biosteel products so we can fuel like the pros. 

Canadian Sprinter Signs with Puma

Canadian sprinter, Andre De Grasse signed a multi year endorsement deal with global sports wear brand, Puma, for a reported $15 million recently.  Although exact terms were not released, De Grasse is guaranteed to earn $4 million and could see the contact rise to $30 million with incentives and bonus'.

De Grasse burst onto the track and field scene and into Canadian sports consciousness by winning gold in the 100 meters at the NCAA championships, gold in the 100 and 200 at the Pan American championships and bronze in the 100 and 4x100 at the World Track and Field Championships. Those performances brought on questions about De Grasse turning pro and forfeiting his final year of eligibility. The senior will return to USC to finish his degree and to work with Trojan coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert.

The German company already host world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt on its roster of athletes but with his retirement set to happen in the next few years, Puma clearly believe De Grasse has next.


SPOTLIGHT

Off The Grid doesn't happen without the effort, time and sacrifices of these supporters, collaborators and teammates.

Rolling Meadow Dairy + Life Choices Meat

If we are going to be pushing our physical limits while we are north of the city we are going to need quality food and drink to keep us fuelled and ready for more.  Enter, Rolling Meadow Dairy and Life Choices meats.  These two brands have provide responsibly raised and grass fed products that are delicious and good for you.  It's pretty simple, feeding cows a grass diet produces healthy dairy and meat that contains more vitamins, CLAs and Omega 3s.  Grass feeding is also good for the environment as these farming practices provide less harmful emissions. Quality food that is good for the environment and the consumer is definitely something we can get behind. The Grass Fed Revolution is here, and we at Off The Grid are happy to join in! 

SPOTLIGHT

Off The Grid doesn't happen without the effort, time and sacrifices of these supporters, collaborators and teammates.

Kortnee Borden-Culinary Gangster

Kortnee Borden is an accomplished marathoner, world traveller, music lover and all about the good vibes. But those aren’t the only reasons he’ll once again be the one keeping us well fed over the Off The Grid retreat.  You can attribute that, to his upbringing just east of Toronto where his mother, grandmother and neccesity taught him to cook. He dined on beef patties and coco bread, developed custom menu items while flipping burgers and started a plan to make delicious tacos every damn tuesday (check his instagram for proof).  

Kortnee has been hard at work developing a hearty and delicious winter menu, that includes local and organic ingredients meant to replenish your energy, keep you warm and fully satisfied all retreat long.