Cooks Care: Aria Kagan’s Marathon Run

by in View All Posts, October 6th, 2010

Next Food Network Star finalist Aria Kagan and her dad

Two years ago I lost my father—my best friend and someone who represented all that is good in the world—to cancer. Since then I’ve set out to celebrate his life however I can. When I came upon Fred’s Team and the New York City Marathon, I knew it was a perfect fit! Fred’s Team and its dedicated runners raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. With the money that is raised, MSKCC continues to work on finding better treatments, research and hope for a world without cancer.

I had never run a marathon before, but I felt it was an amazing challenge with a fabulous purpose. Training for a marathon takes a lot of dedication. I figured if my father could endure three years of chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries, I could totally run 26.2 miles. And so I did.

This year, I will be running in the 2010 NYC Marathon again with Fred’s Team (check out my Fred’s Team Page). I decided this year instead of just asking people to donate money, I wanted to do something to bring everyone together and celebrate the beauty of life.

I decided if I was going to do something, I had to do it big! Soooo, I called up my buddy, Herb Mesa (check him out on FN.com’s Healthy Eats blog), my fellow finalist from The Next Food Network Star, and asked him if he would be willing to come to Florida and teach his super outrageous boot camps to raise money for Fred’s Team. He enthusiastically agreed! On October 17th and 18th, he will be teaching 3 boot camps—two at a local park and one on the infamous Golden Beach. And, Timo Restaurant in Sunny Isles, Fla., is hosting an amazing fundraising dinner for us on October 17th. We are looking forward to an incredible two-day event filled with lots of fun, excitement and the gift of bringing people together for a wonderful cause.

While I train, I have to eat and cook differently. My favorite thing to prepare is my gingery sunflower studded lentil soup…I just love it. It makes me feel so energized. Now that the weather is getting cooler, this is the perfect way to replenish my body. And the smell—wow! It makes my house feel so warm and cozy. I hope it makes your house feel that way, too.

–Aria Kagan

For more about Aria, check out her Facebook Fan Page.

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Comments (2)

  1. Amy says:

    Aria, good luck to you! I have taken up jogging on a much smaller scale and I am really enjoying it. I am so proud of your accomplishments and I know the future has so much promise for you and Luca! Many blessings to you-stay healthy as you prepare for the race!
    Love Amy (Held) Lohmiller

  2. billi schoggen says:

    Best of luck, Aria. It's been wonderful to follow your life/career and to be reminded of what good friends Lynne and Russ were back in Hartford.

    Thanks to you (and Herb) for your efforts and we hope your run brings you as much joy and hope as you bring to your cause.

    Billi and Chris Schoggen

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