What it is: A series of 5Ks at breweries, where participants run, walk or jog through the neighborhood and drink beer afterward. (Some drink before, too!) The one I ran was at Bad Weather Brewing in St. Paul, but the 31 Minnesota events this year are all over the state.
Why? Co-founders Morgan Jappe and Nate Herrington started the series in 2012 with a race at Fulton Brewing to combine their two favorite things: running and beer. Herrington says the main goal of the race itself is to “have fun, be active and give back.” The event also supports local breweries and businesses, shows participants neighborhoods they might otherwise never run in and gives back to the community: Each year, a portion of proceeds goes to local nonprofits.
What happens: I showed up for the race about 15 minutes before the 11 a.m. start time and chatted with folks in the warm brewery. We were led outside for group warm-up, then headed out on a course through the neighborhood. We returned to beer, live music, a food truck and a raffle for goodies. Many folks stuck around socializing more than an hour after the race.
Whom is it for? Anyone from walkers completing their first 5K to seasoned marathon runners.
Whom is it not for? Serious runners looking to train. The event is not timed, and fun seems to be the highest goal, not speed. We did wear bibs, but we scribbled answers to a getting-to-know-you question on them, so they functioned as glorified name tags.
Do: Thank the volunteers who stand along the course holding signs with big red arrows (the course is unmarked otherwise). One yelled some sage wisdom: “Every step is one step closer to a beer!”
Don’t: Be that guy who complains that the race wasn’t exactly 5 kilometers according to his super fitness watch (go home, dude).
Also don’t: Get run over. No roads are closed for the event, so it’s up to you to follow traffic laws.
Cost: $33, which includes race registration, free pint glass (or coaster/bottle opener combo) and a drink token for a beer, plus a few swag bag snacks from local sponsors.