2017 Washington Beer Run 5K: The slackers’ alternative?

Runners joined other beer enthusiasts at the Brewers Festival after the race

Runners joined other beer enthusiasts at the Brewers Festival after the race

My boss asked me last week if I was doing any runs on the weekend. I said, yes, I am doing the Beer Run. “I mean where you actually run,” he responded with a laugh. He thought I meant I was going to go out to get, like, a case of beer to sit around and drink over Father’s Day weekend.

A family holds hands as it crosses the finish line

A family holds hands as it crosses the finish line

Out of character for me, but fair point.

The Washington Beer Run is indeed a 5K race, but most of the 500 or so participants in 2017 did it for the free beer tokens they get at the Washington Brewers Festival nearby at Marymoor Park. I did it because I wanted get back into running after a month focused on bicycling. But, yes, I was more than happy after the race to sample some craft brews from around the state.

I used three of my nine free tokens. Out of some 500 craft beers available, here is what I drank:

  • Raspberry Summer Ale from Top Rung Brewing out of Lacey.
  • Scud Runner German Style Hefeweizen from 20 Corners Brewing in Woodinville.
  • Raspberry Pilsner from Sound to Summit Brewing in Snohomish.

It’s not that I have a thing for raspberry, I just liked these options and all tasted great. Some 130 breweries around the state pumped their beer at the annual Brewers Festival. It’s a cool opportunity for breweries to raise their profile and engage a Seattle-area audience of beer fanatics they may not otherwise get a chance to reach.

Now, about the run

Between 400 and 500 runners and walkers participated at Marymoor Park

Between 400 and 500 runners and walkers participated at Marymoor Park

Many people may think the Washington Beer Run 5K is a slackers’ alternative to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon going on at the same time. Another fair point. But I just wasn’t ready for a full or half-marathon after doing Flying Wheels Summer Century bike ride the previous weekend and two other rides before that. My bad ankle wouldn’t have approved anyway — it was still mad at me for that 100-mile bike ride.

The Norreds — Sally, Louie, Chris and Ollie — are a true running family

The Norreds — Sally, Louie, Chris and Ollie — are a true running family

But it felt great to get back into running races, even if I ran this event well slower than I did a year ago. It was my 211th road race overall.

The Beer Run is a mostly flat 5K, even with changing courses. It starts and finishes at Marymoor Park and this year traversed the Sammamish River Trail, with a small loop around the Bear Creek Trail near Redmond Town Center. These trails are not far from where I work and I often do walks or training runs on them. So I know them well.

The first mile through Marymoor Park is a narrow, crowded trail, and it was tough getting running room. After I got running room, I had limited acceleration. Race organizers don’t provide chips, so no official time is kept. My watch showed 39 minutes, behind the 36 minutes I did on an even flatter course for this event a year ago.

Congrats to Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle finishers

The Beer Run t-shirt is a keeper

The Beer Run t-shirt is a keeper

Thanks to friend and fellow University of Oregon alum Chris Norred, who slowed his own pace to run and chat with me the whole way. Chris has a running family — sons Louie and Ollie and wife Sally all did the run too and finished ahead of us. It’s fun getting together with them at these runs.

I hadn’t run in two weeks, and my ankle was sore from the bike ride, so I was better off doing a smaller race. I do, however, want to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half-Marathon again — because of conflicts with bicycle rides, I haven’t done the Rock ‘n’ Roll half since 2011 and the full marathon since 2010.

Waiting for the starting gun

Waiting for the starting gun

A shout-out to the many friends who competed in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle races last Saturday and Sunday: Mark Nelson earned his 20th full marathon medal, and wife Tyra Nelson, as well as Jen Gaudette, Siri Haynes and Doug Hightower, all finished the half. Gaudette was one of few who also ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 5K (a new event) last Saturday, the day before she ran the half-marathon. Congrats to all.

July runs are next

More from the Brewers Festival next door

More from the Brewers Festival next door

Looking forward to another 5K and an 8K in July. The Redmond Derby Dash 5K is on July 7, an after-work race with several Allytics teammates again, and the Seattle Torchlight Run 8K is right before the Torchlight Parade on July 29. I’m also hoping to do another bike ride in the next month or two.

Will I need another ankle surgery soon? I am starting to think so, after experiencing more pain in recent weeks — especially after the 100-mile ride. August 2017 will mark six years since my first surgery.

That’s my story. Thanks for reading.


About monteenbysk

I am not an elite runner or bicyclist, though I am friends with many. I run, walk, and bike for fun and the health benefits. I can get you to the finish but probably not to the Boston Marathon (and especially not to the Tour de France).
This entry was posted in 5K, 8K, Bicycling, Century, Flying Wheels, Marymoor Park, Rock 'n Roll Seattle Marathon, Running, Sammamish River Trail and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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