Grilled Steak and Watermelon Salad

Virginia Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Boosted By Beef

A. Pellman | September 13, 2019

Participants showed how to “beef fit” through our Farm to Gym workout contest, earning themselves cool beef swag!


Bedford- Labor Day weekend was full of beach, beef and being fit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon held in Virginia Beach, VA, Aug 30-Sept 1, thanks to the partnership between the national checkoff and the Virginia Beef Council. Northeast Team Beef did not go unnoticed over the weekend with 12 members hitting the boardwalk in the 1 mile and 5K on Saturday Aug 31, followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday Sept 1. Beef checkoff staff and Team Beef volunteers running in the weekend races engaged with attendees throughout the course of the two-day expo on how being fit with beef can build strength in their active lifestyles. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Health & Fitness Expo welcomed roughly 14,000 attendees, both runners and their families, to discover the positive beef story as fuel for the finish. Attendees were invited to participate at the beef booth by putting their fitness to the test with a Farm to Gym workout contest to win beef swag such as “I Heart Beef” t-shirts and beef cut chart cutting boards. Runners and their families also received beef jerky samples as they visited the booth thanks to a partnership with Krave Jerky, as well as choosing from various beef recipes, nutritional information, and the ability to explore the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner website via the beef kiosk. Attendees could also participate in an educational survey for a chance to win A Beef Fit Swag Bag.  Of those polled, 94.1% of survey entrants had a positive opinion of beef.    Loan O’Brien, member of Northeast Team Beef commented,

“It was a wonderful experience to be able to talk with fellow runners and their families at the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Health & Fitness Expo on the benefits of eating beef while I volunteered my time at the booth. I even put my farm skills to the test and challenged booth visitors in friendly competition of squats after completing a 5K and 1-mile race, all part of the fun of Labor Day race weekend at the beef booth.” “As a Northeast Team Beef member, I valued the time I had with fellow teammates in getting to know their stories while we worked the booth together sharing our passion on why we run for beef, continued O’Brien.  “For some of us it was our first time meeting one another outside of our weekly social media race updates.” 

From left to right: (Back) Melisa Augusto, Stanley Bryant, Jim White, Karen Sanzo, Karen Edsall (Front) Andrew Brooks, Kim Hague, Dani Burton, Amanda Peretich

On Saturday Aug 31, the evening before the half  marathon, the beef checkoff hosted a “Meat & Greet” for fellow Northeast Team Beef members, and their friends, network with one another and  hear Jim White RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist in Virginia Beach, speak on beef and its role in a racer’s diet. Of the 12 Team Beef members that planned to race the following day, eight members were able to attend the event and felt that it was very beneficial to interacting with fellow advocates and runners of beef. 

Events like the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Health & Fitness Expo allow the checkoff to engage directly with consumers, including athletes, to highlight beef’s taste and nutritional benefits, as well as its role in their daily workouts. Messaging related to beef’s protein, lean cuts and essential nutrients appear to be reaching, and favorably influencing, consumers. When paired with hands-on engagement activities such as the Farm to Gym workout contest and the ability to provide an on-the-go beef snack, there is no greater way to spread beef’s positive story.

For event photos visit the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. This event was made possible by the checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, as well as funding support from the Virginia Beef Council. For more information, visit and

Media Contact: Arika Pellman; or visit the NEBPI website.    Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties. 

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.