Yesterday I ran the 2016 Army Run 5K – but that race report will wait for another day (spoiler alert – I didn’t PB and still hate humidity). There are free race photos, so I want to wait for those to be published. Don’t you worry, as I have to talk about last week’s Beer Run before Army Run.
This was my third year running the Beer Run and the first year I actually paid to enter. Previously I volunteered and last year I earned a bib through volunteering at other inStride events. I really enjoy the event, so I had no problem purchasing a bib. As always, I choose the longest route so I can go to the most breweries. Every year the route and brewery stops have been slightly different. We have been to Clocktower, Kichesippi, and Beyond the Pale every year. Last year we also went to Mill Street and Lowertown but not Big Rig. This year, we did not go to Mill Street but had a Big Rig spot. The route was also different as well, with more running on the Rideau Canal path system, something we haven’t really done on the long route (at least to my knowledge).
We started at Lowertown Brewery in the market – an ideal location as it is close to public transit. I’m not sure what I sampled there, but it was delicious and less perfume-y than last years sample. The sample size was decent. We went down to the canal locks (by going up the stairs and down a fun ramp!) and then went up the Rideau Canal Path to the Clocktower on Bank Street. This was the longest section of the run at 4.3-ish KM – almost all of it on the path. I like having the largest segment done first – last year was the opposite!
Clocktower was the biggest disappointment. They had their Raspberry Wheat offered and the sample size was the smallest of the day. Raspberry Wheat is one of their most popular beers. Unfortunately no pumpkin ale for us! The snack was some fresh fruit, which is a nice change from salty/deep fried snacks, but some were wondering where the poutine was (last year’s snack). After Clocktower we went down Bank Street and along Arlington. Then we went down Gladstone to Hintonburg Park. Another 3K run which was just fine.
At Hintonburg Park they had TWO breweries – Kichesippi and Big Rig. This meant one last run segment to run but also the opportunity to try two beers. The sample sizes were very large and both breweries had a couple of beers to decide from. They also had popcorn and a bouncy castle. This was definitely a really neat set-up and I believe people really enjoyed this location.
Now that we had a ‘double stop’ we were a bit more giggly. Unfortunately the next running segments were taking us through Somerset and Ottawa’s Chinatown. This was a very busy area and featured a big hill. We knew that we were coming back down the hill, but still that hill wasn’t fun. We stopped at lots of lights and ran into another Beer Run Wave as we actually ran PAST the last stop. Les 3 Brasseurs/Three Brewers was the next stop. They gave out their traditional squirt guns and whistles. Also on offer was at least four different kinds of beers. I chose the Blonde and had some warm pretzel sticks. They had us in the actual restaurant which made it possible for everyone to have a rest.
After that – it was time to head back to Beyond the Pale, the location of the finish line and after party. Apparently the end of a beer run makes all of us want to run faster so we booked it down to Somerset at apparently 4:30/km pace (another spoiler alert for army run – I had no problem doing this, yet suffered running 5:10 yesterday). When we got to Somerset and Bronson, we ran into a festival. The street was packed and it was a little dangerous. When running past the festival, I thought I smelled some sort of livestock/an elephant kind of smell and I glanced to my right to see what the smell was. I then glanced back forward and went square into a fire hydrant that was in the middle of the sidewalk. I’m surprised I didn’t flip right over. I ended up falling and bruising my legs quite badly. Opps…
Running down the big hill was fun and we arrived at Beyond the Pale. Last year they gave us a tiny sample, which was fine as there was a beer truck with lots of local brewery selections. This year, they gave us an entire tall boy can. Needless to say, after that I was done and did not purchase another beverage after. The size of the samples improved this year and I think many of us appreciated that. Rather than purchasing another beer, I purchased a food ticket and had one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had (from Artisan Bakery).
I had lots of fun at the Beer Run – if you like beer, you should definitely sign up next year. Don’t worry about going with a friend or a group – lots of us were on our own. I did meet up with Jane afterwards though! The weather was absolutely perfect for the run. I only wish I had that weather yesterday…..
Have a great morning!