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The Beer Running Challenge


Two guys explain how they started up a beer run that starts and ends with their favorite beer festivals — which they call The Coast to Coast Beer Running Challenge. You can follow them on Twitter @ToplessBcnFryer & @McSwoll (below, foreground) and follow hashtag #coast2coast.

Beer Running coast to coast

Who are you?

We are a group of homebrewing, beer-loving, fitness fanatics who embrace The Beer Runner’s passions of fitness and great beer. We heard about Tim Cigelske’s challenge to run and drink every day for a year, so we decided to get in on the fun. We are currently training to run sub-20 minute 5K races, after which, half and full marathon training are next in our sights.

What does your Coast to Coast Beer Running challenge entail?

Emerald Coast Beer Festival in Pensacola, Florida is the highlight of our year.  It is our region’s best beer festival, featuring homebrew clubs from the South and commercial brewers from all over the country. We figured starting and ending this challenge with a Florida beach run was fitting:  ECBF2011 to ECBF2012, hence the name of the challenge – coast2coast.

What are your rules?

A minimum of one mile and one beer per day with at least 1000 miles logged between festivals. But who wants to do just the bare minimum?  Our training and drinking schedule is quite varied, so getting bored with the routine is highly unlikely.  The challenge began with a 5K beach run on Pensacola Beach followed by more beer than we could count.  We plan to finish with a half-marathon beach run.  We also have a weekly distance trail run and a track day. Most of the other days are shorter and slower efforts with maybe one or two beers.  While there is no requirement for beer variety, we are taking the opportunity to sample as many types of beer as we can.

How is it going so far?

Two weeks into the challenge and participant passion, commitment, dedication, andmileage are at an all-time high. Current average mileage is mid-30s with slight weekly increases. It is liberating to be free of the decision whether or not to run on a given day, even if it is just the one-mile minimum.  The running volume is providing plenty of mileage for the key workouts in our training plan, not to mention very convenient drinking nights with good friends and workout partners.

How can others join in?

We’re starting a pub run and walk every 3rd Saturday of the month starting Saturday, Oct. 22 in Downtown Jackson. This is an event for craft beer lovers and runners alike and supports Mississippi’s own Lucky Town Brewery and the HomeBrewers Association of Middle Mississippi. We have set up several stops along the route for the participants to enjoy a beer at local establishments. There is a 4 mile loop with 3 stops and a 2 mile loop with 2 stops. Come out to show your support!


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at]

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