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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

(Late) Race Recap: Ultimate Beer Run

The epic event poster
Guys!! I forgot a run from this year! As I was preparing my year-end summary post I logged onto Facebook to scan photos and -tada!- there were 4 photos from a run I forgot to recap! The Ultimate Beer Run took place Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 1:00pm in downtown Columbus. [2015's race details and the course]

Swag photo from UBR Facebook
Swag and Awards
For the first Ultimate Beer Run, everyone received a custom bib, wristband (to prove you were over 21 and to enter the "party" for free), a non-technical cotton t-shirt, tickets for beer, and a mug. Because it was their first year they were trying to spread the word quickly via social media and I received a $5 off coupon code via Twitter. Registration for next year's run is currently $30.

Awards were handed out for Best Individual Costume, Best Group Costume, and Best Burp (yuuuuup). Winners were chosen by applause during the post-race party.

The run is in direct competition with other corporate beer runs in the area. (Corporate meaning: national events with sponsors like Miller Lite or Bug Light.) I would say it is now the legit, local craft beer run of Columbus. Being picky beer drinkers, we were intrigued. Plus, the poster was great (see above). Bonus: this was the first race we could convince others to join!

Beer run: explained
Now let's be real, this was a fun run and we were not competing for first place (though I believe the first place runner won a free entry into 2015's race). We signed up with two friends and met before the kick off. Parking was relatively easy to find, but it did cost a few bucks. The weather was warm and humid, but also overcast and a bit gray. Participants were encouraged to wear costumes, but I'm so happy we didn't wear any. It was too hot!

The party HQ was a roped off parking lot complete with an MC, stage, great music (classic rock), food trucks, porta potties, games (like cornhole), and plenty of spots to stand / sit. Upon arrival, each participant could use one of their colored raffle tickets for a pre-run beer. There were 4 beers and different colored tickets. I believe they were 6 or 8oz cups. I remember thinking they were so tiny at first. HA! Have you ever tried to run after drinking high octane beer? These were legit beers and not Bud Light. I'm not going to lie, I couldn't finish one of my hoppier pours and had to pass it on to my friend. He's a champ.

Pre-race beer drinking a.k.a. "warming up"
The race included three 3/4 mile laps with beer stops in between. Because of public drinking laws (or whatever), the beer stops were back in the parking lot party zone and not handed to you water-stop style as you lapped the start line. Each beer stop became a long hang out while drinking. We may have chugged the first beer, but took it easy on the rest.

I trotted the first lap with my friend who doesn't run. Did I mention I had a 7 mile training run earlier than morning? (My prescribed milage for the day was 9 miles). AND I'm pretty sure I went out to drink the Friday before and was still feeling the effects. (Whoops.) I don't remember lap two. I think I walked some of it with friends. I do remember before lap 3 the MC said we needed to hurry up and drink because the police escorts were only on the course for 45 minutes. I ran the last lap alone just so I could say I finished my training miles for the day.

The run was for all abilities. Plenty of walkers, runners, sprinters, joggers, amblers, drunks, etc. It was pretty funny to watch locals / workers come out to see what we were doing. A few shouted "What are you doing?!" but they were mainly amused by the costumes. And man, there were some hilarious costumes.

After the final lap, each participant could pick up their 16oz mug and fill it with their choice of the four featured beers. They were all pretty heavy and it took a while to finish. (Remember: we had about 40oz of beer in under an hour.) We stood around and watched the awards ceremony to kill time. The 1st-3rd place winners in each category took home some pretty sweet giftcards and freebies. At this point, I'm pretty sure participants were able to refill their mugs with more beer for about $5.

Hot and full of beer
Once we finished our beers, instead of remaining at the parking lot party and eating food truck food, we decided to get pizza nearby at Yellow Brick  The food trucks were fine and the crowd was still relatively amped, but YB pizza is fantastic and we (I) wanted to sit.

I don't want to sugar coat it: directly after the run we all felt pretty gross. High humidity, running, and chugging heavy beer do not mix. I said I might do it again, but I didn't get solid answers from the others, except Alex. He said he'd never do it again. I was surprised he had such strong feelings! Unfortunately, it's been too long for me to remember my immediate post-race feelings. Overall, it was a silly event, but I had a fine time. Seems like a good value for the amount of beer you get. Next time I would not drink the night before or run 7 miles the morning of! The next race is May 2015, so the weather should be more mild.

To read more race recaps visit my Race Calendar.

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