Discover the Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef!

The Power of Protein is all about experiencing the body benefits of eating beef and building lean muscle as you train for running, cycling, triathlon or other athletic events -- or just in living a healthy, active lifestyle.

If you are a beef eater and an athlete (weekend warriors welcome!), join Team ZIP (Zinc/Iron/Protein) to "Live the Brand" and demonstrate the "Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef."

For more information, contact Daren Williams at

Monday, November 24, 2008

Team ZIP Rocks San Antonio...and NYC...and Lincoln...and even Scranton!

Meghan Mueseler (below) of Cargill Meat Solutions in Wichita, Kansas, was one of nearly 25,000 participants in the inaugural San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon/Half Marathon on Sunday, November 16. But Meghan stood out among the crowd in her Team ZIP Running Powered by Beef jersey. "The shirt was a hit," said Meghan, who also sported a Will run for CHOCOLATE headband. "Folks were confused, chocolate or beef? I said both!!! They go great together!"

Meghan's attitude before (as pictured above) and after the race offers great insight into the mind of a BEEF runner. "The course roads were a little tight for the number of runners and they put a HILL at mile 13 that about killed all of us, " said Meghan. "Definitely one to do again though."

Chris Calkins (above), professor of animal science at the University of Nebraska, demonstrated the power of protein at the Governor's Cup 5K race in Lincoln, Nebraska, on October 19. "I even came in second in my age group, so represented Team ZIP pretty well, if you ask me," said Chris. In fact, Chris finished a very impressive 37th out of 273 runners in the 5K with a time of 22:57, or 7:24/mile. We'd say Chris represented us very well!

Back in July, Chris Marccocci (above) of Streetmarc Advertising and Marketing in Westport, Connecticut, followed up the Boilermaker 15K on July 13 by running the New York Half Marathon two weeks later! "Awesome experience running through Times Square," said Chris, "but believe it or not, the crowd doesn’t even compare to the Boilermaker Race! Go Beef!"

And finally, Chris Molinaro sent us this picture of her twin sister, Kim (at left) and a friend displaying their finisher medals at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Both Chris and Kim ran with Team ZIP at the Boilermaker in July but this was Kim's first marathon. "Of course they proudly sported the awesome Team Zip jersey as they ran too!" said Chris. "I'm a proud sister, can you tell?" Congratulations, Kim! We're pretty proud of Chris, too, a senior in animal science at Penn State University and author of the Beef Matters blog.

Next week on the Power of Protein and stories from beef runners participating in "Turkey Day" events around the country. Send us yours!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Team ZIP Beefs Up the Boilermaker

More than 100 members of Team ZIP gathered in Utica, NY, on July 11-13 to participate in one of the country's premier running events -- the Boilermaker 15K Road Race. More than 11,000 runners competed in the Boilermaker, including New York Governor David Paterson. Team ZIP had participants in every event during the three-day weekend, including the 15K, 5K, 3-mile walk, mile race and youth run.

Team ZIP 15K runners pose for a group picture before the start of the race early Sunday morning. A light drizzle dampened the pre-race festivities but ended before the race began.

Several of the Team ZIP 5K runners, including NY beef producer Charlie Davis (holding the "Team ZIP is Powered by Beef" sign), gather near the starting line Sunday morning.

The Team ZIP walkers (and strollers!) enjoyed sunny skies for the 3-mile walk on Saturday afternoon during the Health and Fitness Expo.

Team ZIP co-captains Jean O'Toole, New York Beef Industry Council, and Daren Williams, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, talk to fellow runners about the importance of beef protein for athletes.

Janel Fisher, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, hands out healthy roast beef and veggie wraps to Boilermaker participants and their families at the Health and Fitness Expo.

Kids (of all ages) lines up to "build their own burger" (and then try to take a bite) at the New York Beef Industry Council booth at the two-day Health and Fitness Expo.

A member of Team ZIP runs the 15K carrying an American and United States Marine Corp flag to honor his brother in Iraq.

Bucky Gwartney, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, looks strong as he approaches the finish line of the 15K -- demonstrating that beef provides "fuel for the finish"!

Kim Molinaro, twin sister of 2007 National Beef Ambassador Christie Molinaro, flies through the 15K course. Sister Christie ran the 5K and plans to join Kim in the 15K next year!

Team ZIP co-captain Jean O'Toole (right), New York Beef Industry Council, poses with Chris Marcocci of Streetmarc Advertising and Marketing (center).

The New York Beef Industry Council's multi-talented registered dietitian Kara Behlke, served as the official nutritionist of the Boilermaker, ran in the 5K race, worked for two days in the Health and Fitness Expo booth AND helped clean up afterwards. It's a dirty job...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Team ZIP Rides the Rockies!

Above (from left): Amy Becker, Daren Williams and Patty Kravitz show off their Team ZIP cycling jerseys. Below: Show me the beef!!

Three members of Team ZIP completed Ride the Rockies 2008, a six-day, 435-mile bicycle tour of the Rocky Mountains on June 15-21, 2008. The epic ride traveled from Durango to Breckenridge, Colorado, featuring climbs over Lizard Head Pass (elev. 10,222 ft.), Dallas Divide (elev. 8,970 ft.), Cerro Summit (elev. 7,950 ft.), Blue Mesa Summit (elev. 9,288 ft.), Trout Creek Pass (elev. 9,346 ft.), Cottonwood Pass (elev. 12,126 ft.), and Hoosier Pass (elev. 11,542 ft.).

According to Team ZIP captain Daren Williams, the 2008 ride was the toughest of the four he has completed, averaging 72.5 miles per day. Williams recorded the entire ride using his Garmin Edge 705 cycling computer and says he totaled 30:01:43 hrs/mins/secs in the "saddle" and burned 21,668 calories (3,611/day average) during the ride.

Above: Williams at the start of Cottonwood Pass, a 39-mile long, 4,000+ foot climb (from 8,018 ft. to 12,126 ft. above sea level). Due to heavy spring snowfall, the pass opened on June 12, just three days before the start of the ride!

Above: Williams does his best Vanna White impersonation, displaying his makeshift "Beef It's What's for Dinner" ad in a seven-foot tall snowbank near the summit of Cottonwood Pass.

Above: Williams is interviewed for the evening news on the ABC affiliate in Grand Junction, Colorado, discussing the importance of beef protein in helping repair and rebuild muscle tissue during the week-long ride. Click on the following link to watch the entire segment...

Ride the Rockies Rolls into Montrose

Beef. It's what's for dinner on Ride the Rockies!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Team ZIP Runners Tie for Second in NY Run

Team ZIP co-captain Jean O'Toole of the New York Beef Industry Council (above, right) and Terry Fellows (above, left), who is running the Boilermaker 15K with Team ZIP, tied for second place in their age division in the 10-mile run at the 30th Annual Kirkland Art Center's Run & Walk in Clinton, New York. Jean and Terry crossed the finish line together with a time of 1:35:31. That's an impressive pace of 9:33/mile!

The time is especially impressive when you compare it to the field. For example, the second place finisher in the 10 mile, men's, age 18 - 29 ran a 1:43:53:90...the second place finisher in the 10 mile women's, age 30 - 39 ran a 1:37:06:90. In other words, Jean and Telly beat out younger competitors, both male and female!

On top of that, Jean reports that the conditions were less than ideal for a run...

The run was later in the day (4pm, not a good time to run) and it was quite warm with threats of thunderstorms. It was not only warm but there was wind, either a cross wind or in our face, and to top it all off...HILLS! There had to be three significant hills during the race (the picture above was taken at the top of one of the hills after 6.5 miles)! The last hill was the killer! With less than a mile to go, we turned onto Chestnut St. and literally stopped dead in our tracks...the last hill was MASSIVE! We collected our wits and ran on. We are proud to say we finished together, it wasn't about the race it was about finishing.
Jean promises conditions for the Boilermaker will be more favorable.

No doubt I can run the Boilermaker and run it faster, not as many hills and the crowd will get us through it!
37 days and counting...Go Team ZIP!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Montana Team ZIP participates in Women’s Run

The 27th annual Women’s Run held in Billings, Montana, May 10th, drew a record number or participants this year. Of the 6,441 women, there were six Team ZIP participants.

Team ZIP included: Charlene Rich, Executive Director of Montana Beef Council; Lisa Murray, Director of Nutrition for Montana Beef Council; and Dayle Hayes, Registered Dietitian and founding CWNS member. Other ZIP participants were Teresa Darnielle, Marci Mercer and Kay Hill.

The team (above, at the start of the run) received many great compliments, questions and support throughout the event.

Submitted by: Lisa Murray, Montana Beef Council

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Team ZIP Runs the Boston Marathon!


Team ZIP was present in full force at the Boston Marathon, April 19-21, demonstrating the Power of Protein to runners and spectators from all over the world. Three members of Team ZIP ran in the world's oldest annual marathon, including NCBA Executive Committee member Ford Drummond, a 3rd generation cow/calf and stocker operator of Drummond Ranch in Pawhuska, Okla. (pictured at left after the run holding his finisher's medal!).

Also running for team ZIP with steak-adorned jerseys were Michelle Baade, Colo. (sister-in-law of Kristy Lage, American National CattleWomen president-elect); and Lucinda Harnish, Penn. (daughter of Clayton Harnish, veal representative to the Federation of State Beef Councils in Pennsylvania).

“The marathon was fun and challenging as always, but Team ZIP (Zinc, Iron, Protein) received a lot of positive feedback from spectators and words of encouragement along the way. Other runners complimented me on the jersey and my husband, Brad, also wore a Team ZIP jersey as he cycled along the course, providing some additional exposure for our beef nutrition message,” says Harnish. “I look forward to wearing my ZIP jersey again this summer at other running events to help promote beef.”

Beyond featuring three runners in the race, Team ZIP members (including staff from the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, New York Beef Industry Council, and Pennsylvania Beef Council) worked the beef booth at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo throughout the entire weekend, serving up samples of beef to hungry runners and talking up the benefits of lean beef in a healthy diet.

The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) worked with the checkoff-funded Beef and Veal Culinary Center to demonstrate Roast Beef & Veggie Wraps, a lean, portable and easy recipe, serving just over 7,000 samples to marathon runners. Through partners Johnnie’s Foodmaster (who donated 200 pounds of Certified Angus Beef roast beef), Dole, Harbar Foods and Richelieu Foods, all wrap ingredients were donated.

“Our efforts to spread the message about the benefits of lean beef really hit home with this active consumer audience,” says Emilie Miller, Director of Retail & Foodservice Relations for the NEBPI. “We heard comments such as ‘I was a vegetarian – up until an hour ago!’, ‘You just saved a runner’s body.’ and ‘I learned so much and feel much more confident about eating beef.’ Dedication begins on the farm with our producers and this spring in Boston, beef crossed the finish line a winner.”

Pictures of Team ZIP in Action!

Jean O'Toole (far left) and Kara Behlke (far right) of the New York Beef Industry Council flank former American marathon record holder Bill Rodgers and Emilie Miller of the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative.

Runners sample lean beef at the Sports and Fitness Expo.

Team ZIP members join Beef Ambassadors in staffing the booth at the Sports and Fitness Expo.

Ford Drummond flexes his lean beef muscles and shows his
Team ZIP pride!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Boilermaker Fever has started in Utica!

by Jean O'Toole, New York Beef Industry Council

The mercury is starting to inch its way up the thermometer and runners are springing into action! Boilermaker meetings are being conducted and the sneaker stores have stocked their shelves with brand name shoes, socks and running gear!

I attended a Boilermaker meeting last week along with 30 other hopeful runners. I say hopeful, because the Boilermaker has the mystique of enticing first time runners and retired runners out of retirement, to join in on the fun and magic that only a community like Utica can offer.

The veteran runners get into the action this time of year to boast the number of times they have run the race. And local communities along the route start planning their "block parties," which are four cheering sections with bands, banners, cow bells and whistles to help runners "get through" their part of the course. The winning block party wins a party!

But the Boilermaker's mystique doesn't end with the runners or the spectators. The most incredible part of every Boilermaker are the volunteers! There are 6,500 volunteers. And if that isn't enough...there is a WAITING LIST to boot! The volunteers are amazing people that attend to every aspect of the race. Talk about dedication! They may not run the event, but they ensure that the runners that do race, run it effortlessly!

This year's Boilermaker is #31! What started 31 years ago with 800 runners has evolved into a race second to none with over 12,000 runners in 2007 and more expected this year.

I ran the Boilermaker 12 years ago in 1996, my first and only time. I admit I was enticed by the spirit of the race and was brought to tears during the race many times by the overwhelming camaraderie of runners, volunteers and spectators, encouraging wheelchair participants as they struggled up the Valley View Hill (the one challenging hill) and the kind words of volunteers as they handed you water, "you can do have made it this far...go for it."

My goal wasn't time, my goal was to finish, to complete the 9.3, which I did in 1:37:30. I ran with a friend, who at mile 6 was ready to quit. I ran backwards encouraging her to continue and stayed with her until mile 9 when I told her, "I have to sprint to the finish (its the only way to go, and it was easy due to the fact it was down hill!). I will meet you there!"

I have to say, it was one of the greatest accomplishments in all my athletic endeavors. I have not run it since...until this year! I'm ready to run, ready to share the spirit of Utica with colleagues, friends and family, and ready to share "The Power of Protein"with Utica and 12,000 other runners from across the country.

The New York Beef Industry Council is the headquarters for "Team ZIP" for the 31st Annual Utica Boilermaker! It's no secret we are looking for 250 runners to lace up their running shoes, and proudly wear their Team ZIP jersey to demonstrate the "Power of Protein." I encourage you to check out our website for updates about the race, where to go, what to see, how to get to Utica and where you can hang up your running shoes before the big race!

I also encourage you to check out the Boilermaker website at On the site you can see the race course, check out the elevation and SIGN UP! Early Bird sign up deadline is JUNE 11, 2008, final sign up deadline is JUNE 30th! You can sign up for the 15k, the 5k or the 5k walk and be part of Team ZIP! Do it today and let me know at so that I can formally welcome you to the team and direct you to the final destination...the finish line!

And, lastly I encourage you to check out our local newspaper, there are two recent articles "Boilermaker could regain biggest 15K title" and "Boilermaker spices up lineup." There was also an article about the Boilermaker on about last year's race, just type in "Boilermaker 15k road race."

Today is Tuesday, April 8th. On Sunday I ran 5.5 miles. It was a great run considering it was on a treadmill and watching Food Network! It may be warm enough for some Utican's to run outside, as for me, the mercury needs to inch up a little further to entice me outside!

Keep running or start now (it's not too late*), there are less than 14 weeks to go!

Jean O'Toole

*click here for a 10-week novice 15K training schedule.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Kansas Runner Completes First Marathon!

Congratulations to Barb Downey of Downey Ranch in Wamego, Kansas, on the completion of the Olathe Marathon this past weekend...her first! But Barb didn't just finish, she finished in 4:25:56 -- or a pace of 10:12/mile -- landing her 67th out of 150 female runners! And she ran the entire 26.2 miles wearing her new BEEF running jersey! Thanks to Debbie Lyons-Blythe for alerting us to Barb's big event...and for sponsoring her beef running gear!

Here's a report from Barb...

Morning Daren,

Since I can hardly move I’m taking care of desk stuff. Only kidding. I’m not too bad after completing my first marathon. YEAH!!!! Unfortunately, it was so cold and windy (a head wind, mind you) that the top layer jacket didn’t come off until mile 20.

Of course, that could have been a useful strategy since once I was publicly exposed as being powered by beef, there was no way I could quit, let alone break into a walk. I’ve attached a couple of photos for you. I’ll send the one with my “friends” chasing me with a cattle prod (no kidding) when I get my hands on it. In addition, I’ll write about the training and the race, which was incredible by the way. I finished in 4:26 which put me in the top ½ of the women runners.

I remember thinking when I hit mile 10 that I’d be done with the Boilermaker and it’d be a piece of cake. I’ll let you know for sure, but it’s looking good at this point.

Barb Downey
Downey Ranch, Inc.

As mentioned in her e-mail, Barb hopes to join Team Protein for the Boilermaker 15K this July and will be posting tips from her marathon training right here on the Power of Protein blog. Stay tuned for more information on signing up for the Boilermaker. In the meantime, please send your photos and training experiences to me at


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Training on the Road

I know many Team ZIP members are on the road a lot. And believe me, I know it can be tough to get into a training routine when traveling. This past week I was in Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Austin and Manhattan (KS -- the "Little Apple"). My plan was to run Saturday afternoon in Phoenix, Monday morning in OKC and Wednesday morning in Austin. Of those three, I was actually able to get in one run. But that's not too bad. I can't tell you how many times I have packed my running gear and never got it out of the suitcase!

But the run in Austin was enjoyable. Not fast. When I'm in a city like Austin I like to go "sightrunning" - a combination of sightseeing and exercise. So I planned a route that took me down Austin's infamous 6th Street, around the Capitol Building, and through the University of Texas-Austin campus.

Check out the interactive map below, recorded using my Garmin Forerunner 305 and uploaded to

View Larger Map

For anyone who travels, I highly recommend getting a Garmin Forerunner. It's a great tool for planning and even improvising routes in a strange city. I love the "return to start" feature that actually leads you back to your hotel if you get lost! And when you upload your runs to Motionbased, you can see all the details you need to track your progress.You can even retrace your run on Google Earth. Pretty cool stuff.

For example, the MotionBased log of my run in Austin shows that I ran 3.54 miles at an average pace of 10:09/mile and average heart rate of 135 bpm (as I said, I wasn't pushing it!). It also tells me the average temp was 60.8F and the wind was blowing from the North at 1.2 mph. The elevation gain/loss was +/- 220 ft (I ended where I began so it was a wash).

So what does this really tell me? It tells me I have a long way to go before I am ready to reach my goal at the Boilermaker (1 hr, 20 mins, or 8.5 mins/mile). After a long winter's nap, it's time to wake up and get moving!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Team ZIP Off and Running

Calling all beef runners...r u ready? We're looking to recruit 250 members of Team ZIP (Zinc/Iron/Protein) to run in the the Boilermaker 15K Road Race on July 13, in Utica, NY. Are you ready to show your passion for beef and be a living example of how lean beef fits in a healthy lifestyle? We need you!

Think 15K (9.3 miles) is too far for you? Don't worry! There is plenty of time to train. Heck, most marathon and Ironman triathlon training programs only run 16-20 weeks. You have over five months to train for the Boilermaker on July 13! And if you still don't think you want to tackle a 15K, there is a 5K option.

If you are just getting started, start slow. You might even want to start with walking...or a combination of walking and jogging. Just get those legs moving and your heart pounding. Before you know it you'll be running 2-3 miles at a time and you'll be ready to start at 15K training program (click here for a 10-week novice 15K training schedule).

Already a runner but ready to take your game to the next level? Here's a great 10-week 15K training program for intermediate runners.

Do you regularly participate in 15Ks, half marathons or longer distance events and have set your sights on winning the Boilermaker 15K State Beef Challenge? Here's an advanced runner 10-week training program designed to help you reach your goal.

Whatever your level, plan to join 250 Team ZIP runners at the Boilermaker 15K Road Race on July 13. Imagine 250 runners -- the largest team in the Boilermaker's 31-year history -- streched out along the course, delivering the "Power of Protein" message to the other 10,000+ runners and thousands of spectators lining the course.

Why the Boilermaker in Utica, NY? This is no ordinary road race. For 10 years consecutively, from 1997 to 2006, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race was named the largest 15K in the nation. Each year, the race attracts top elite runners from all over the world, Olympians and world record holders.

Think about it. This event attracts runners from all across the country, especially the East Coast. What a great opportunity to spread the Power of Protein message to a group of health-conscious consumers! The New York Beef Industry Council is planning a weekend full of events: a booth at the gigantic Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12. And while we're there we will visit the National Distance Runners Hall of Fame in Utica.

So make plans now to be a part of this awesome event. For more information, contact Daren Williams at