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Posts Tagged ‘beer’

The Bridge & Back 10K

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It’s time to register for the Bridge & Back 10K which is being held on August 6th in Salem, Massachusetts.

The Bridge & Back 10K is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

This race has a very reasonable registration fee of $25 and the first 400 registrants will receive a free technical, short-sleeve t-shirt!

Runners will tackle a great course and will run across the Salem/Beverly Bridge in this out-and-back course. The race kicks off in front of the Tavern in the Square and runners will be happy to rehydrate with a cold beer inside the tavern after the run. Awards will be given to top male and female overall finishers as well as age group top finishers.

To register for the Bridge & Back 10K, please click here. Be sure to also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here.

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The Bad Idea That Keeps Getting Worse

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Ventured down to Providence, Rhode Island yesterday for my second ever Dog & Grog Jog hosted by the Wild Colonial Tavern. This race is not like many others and focuses more on merriment than running but boy oh boy is this a good time.

The race is a four person relay run where each runner hits the downtown Providence roads for a 1.25 mile loop along the canal. Once done sprinting or jogging your leg you then need to eat a hot dog and down a Narragansett beer before your next teammate can go. Our team was Proud to be Americans and we donned some good gear inclusive of hunting camo Budweiser hats, a Donald Trump Make America Great Again hat and shirts that read “Running this shit since 1776.”

The run itself is pancake flat and goes by rather quickly. As you make your way into the chute to grab your Saugy and a Gansett, you need to first try to catch your breath before tackling the food and beer challenge. Bystanders yell at you telling you how you should eat it or give you tips for maximizing consumption potential but in reality you just need to focus on not tossing your cookies and finishing everything as quickly as possible. A couple teams succumbed to the violent puking potential which always gets bystanders to get a fired up “Booooooo” going.

Outfits range from the normal racing attire to a team of dudes in speedos, to naughty elves, Disney princesses, a guy that looked exactly like Erlich from Silicon Valley (though we are not sure if that’s what he was going for) to bar flies and more! The event is an absolute blast of a time and with the Patriots game on right after the race it makes for a great afternoon down in Rhode Island. Proceeds from the event benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

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Narragansett Summer Running Festival Half-Marathon

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Is there anything better than cracking open a nice cold beer on a hot summer day? I submit not. But how does a beer taste on a hot summer day after having just run a half-marathon? Well, let me tell you.

On Sunday it as just a skip away to Easton, Massachusetts for the Narragansett Summer Running Festival Half-Marathon. The festival took place on the grounds of Stonehill College and featured a 5K and 10K race offering on Saturday with the half-marathon reserved for Sunday. In the past, all three races took place on the same day therefore splitting up the events was a great way to bring more people to the run and have better logistics around the weekend.

Though the half-marathon kicked off nice and early, last weekend was the hottest weekend of the summer and the heat did not disappoint. The course took runners through residential roads of Easton for the most part and part of the course was through trails of the Natural Resource Trust’s Sheep Pasture. The heat was certainly noticeable on the course but the race directors did a nice job ensuring that there was plenty of water and Gatorade on the course for runners. Right around Mile 9 I passed a snake in the middle of the road who met his maker likely due to some heat related issue and for a brief moment I thought, “Why couldn’t I be that snake, at least the race would be over for me.” But I continued on knowing that the finish line was in the near future.

At the end of the race, runners make their way back onto the absolutely beautiful Stonehill College campus through the roads of the college and a brief half-lap on the track around the football field.

The final stretch of the half-marathon takes runners up a hill that is quite steep and particularly painful given its placement around 12.9 miles into the half. But the booming voice of the announcer coupled with fans cheering, a band playing and the wafts of Narragansett beer floating through the air make pushing it into the finish line all the better.

Certainly not my best half-marathon time but due to the weather this was more of a survival sort of run with getting to the finish line being the main goal. I finished with a time of 2:10:58 or 9:56/miles. The past few years this race has featured some hot conditions but that’s part of the challenge. Let’s see what next year brings.

Great Time Running the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon

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Yesterday morning was an absolutely great day to tackle the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon in the Woodstock/Quechee area of Vermont and the ideal race conditions made for some really good running. I have run the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon twice previously and shaved 12 minutes off my PR there finishing with a time of 1:47:42 good for 8:13/miles.

The Covered Bridges Half-Marathon is consistently ranked one of the top most-scenic runs and the fact that the race sells out in record time is a true testament to the desire of many runners to get into this race. The course takes runners through some idyllic New England streets, along a brook, through the woods and even over a covered bridge indeed. The race kicks off bright and early at 8:15 from Suicide Six Ski Area and takes runners along 13.1 miles of truly some of the best scenery you can find. Though I was hoping to see a moose or a bear with a trout in its mouth along the course, nothing could disappoint when running this course and the fan support is of the highest caliber with people cheering, ringing cow bells or busting out some beats on pots and pans or old paint buckets.

The night before the race we opted to carbo-load at Harpoon Brewery just down the road in Windsor and enjoyed food, a pint and live music with the fresh Vermont air really making you consider to grab the real estate listings before heading back home. A microbrew around a fire pit with some live music playing is about all this runner needs to get into a good pre-race mindset, that’s for sure.

IMG_0918The race directors for the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon do a really nice job getting the logistics right from busing runners to the starting line where number pickup takes place to funneling runners into the chute post-run to gather the race medal and tech-shirt. Live music is present on the course ranging from polka bands to drum corps and a band rocked the finish line after-party where runners could refuel with plenty of snacks and fresh offerings for those over 21 from our friends at Harpoon Brewery. The only down side to the post-race party was the line for the massage tables was moving at a snail’s pace and there weren’t enough hands to keep up with the demand.

Photo Credit: Anne Francis

Photo Credit: Anne Francis

The Covered Bridges Half-Marathon is sort of a bucket list race that those who love running and those that love the half-marathon distance need to tackle. Registration sells out fast so you need to be sure to follow the race on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you don’t miss registration announcements.

19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race

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After a long winter, heading out into the Jamaica Plain section of Boston yesterday was a most welcome venture. The sun was beating down and being able to wear short sleeves and shorts while running really felt amazing. The race was the 19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race and the race was a great spring run on what turned out to be a truly nice day.

The race is sponsored by Doyle’s Cafe which is a traditional Irish pub in Jamaica Plain. Following the race, the pub does a sensational job putting on a block party complete with a DJ, Sam Adams beer and food. Doyle’s holds the distinction as being the first pub that poured Sam Adams beer therefore having a pint there is sort of the ultimate beer drinker’s utopia after running a good five mile race.

The course itself is a beautiful 5 mile course through Franklin Park which is part of the Emerald Necklace chain of parks. The course is paved the entire way and even with a tough winter the roads for the most part were in pretty good shape. It was great to hear the Boston Police Gaelic Column playing heading out onto the course and close to the finish line as we made our way back toward the pub. I’m not sure if I am the only Irishman who has a strange reaction while hearing bagpipes where I get goosebumps coupled with an extra little kick in the legs upon hearing them play but it was a great touch for an awesome race. Race volunteers were at each mile marker and water was provided by course volunteers and by Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley.

I finished the 19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race with a time of 39:56 or 7:59/miles.

Dog & Grog Jog in Providence, RI

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Last Sunday afternoon it was down to Providence, Rhode Island for the Dog & Grog Jog hosted at the Wild Colonial Tavern in the heart of downtown Providence.

This race is like none other. If you have done a really race before you sort of understand the gist: run your leg and then your partner takes off and the first team to finish wins. However, the Dog & Grog Jog adds a little excitement to the mix. Teams are made up of four runners and our team (named Corned Beef and Kapusta paying homage to the Irish and Polish lineages of the team members) heard about what to expect at the relay and conquered the challenge with some smiles and belching.

You see, runners run 1.25 miles, a quick jaunt along one of the Providence canals and rather pancake flat running at that. Once the runner has completed the 1.25 mile run they then have to eat a saugy (a remarkably delicious hot dog) and drink a ‘Gansett before the next runner can go. The hot dog actually was not all that bad to get down but the ‘Gansett was a bit more tricky. Some runners were extreme in their techniques of conquering the challenge and others were quite precise in putting condiments on the dog, sipped the beer like a nice summer day on a porch or had to adjust their costume before taking on the dog and beer. You see, the race also features some pretty awesome costumes ranging from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Duck Dynasty, Glam Clams to Beach Bums and cereal characters to bumble bees.

Let it be known that next year, we likely will be back with a new name, some costumes and our eyes on taking down more and more teams. If anyone wants to assist with the training, please reach out for my mailing address to send packs of saugys and cases of Narragansett.

Will Run for Beer

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Let’s face it: some things are just meant to go with one another. Peanut butter and jelly, corned beef and cabbage, Chinese food followed by ice cream and so on. Add to the list beer and running. After a run, there is often times nothing more refreshing than a cool beer to help you get some calories back into the system and cool down after hitting the pavement. This weekend it was a back-to-back weekend of racing with a 5k on both Saturday and Sunday and low and behold each race had a nice beer theme to it.

Yesterday I traveled to Canton, Massachusetts for the Blue Hills Brewery 2nd Annual South Shore Trail Run. Runners checked in at the brewery and then boarded a trolley to the starting line which was just down the road a bit within the State Park and around Ponkapoag Pond. The race time conditions were quite gross with temperatures in the low 40’s and a rather heavy dousing of rain pouring down on runners. The race was an informal sort of fun run with no real timing taking place and the course not marked or marshaled, causing a couple of other runners along with myself to run a wee bit further than the 5k we signed up for. The course was rather sloppy from the rain but after having done so many pavement miles training for Boston it was nice to mix things up a little bit. Post-race, runners boarded the shuttle bus back to the brewery where everyone was able to enjoy two free beers and some light snacks. One of the best surprises of the race was when the race director gave every single runner a case of Blue Hills Brewery’s IPA. Not a bad deal!

This morning, we headed for Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Spring Classic 5k. This race started just in front of the Asgard Pub and just shy of 3000 of our closest friends hit the streets of Cambridge for a nice 5k run. Having done a race that started at the Asgard before, I liked this course much better since it wasn’t just an out-and-back and instead you hit some residential neighborhoods of Cambridge along the way. I felt quite good at the race, particularly after doing a trail run yesterday and after completing the Boston Marathon less than a week ago. Overall, my time was 24:16 which is good for 7:48/miles.

Post-race, runners were treated to fresh beer being poured by Jack’s Abby as well as cases of cans of 21st Amendment Brewery‘s IPA and Watermelon Wheat. Back in my younger days I would have made a pretty nice dent here but instead after enjoying one IPA, thanks to the generosity of my brother who came to watch us run the race, we treated ourselves to Flour Bakery before heading back home.