Home Beer Editor 12 Beer Runners to watch in 2011

12 Beer Runners to watch in 2011

CATEGORIES: Beer Editor   Beer Runner  

To complement DRAFT’s 12 breweries to watch in 2011, I give you 12 Beer Runners to watch in the coming year.

Sara Santiago

You just can’t keep Sara down. Coming off brain surgery and spinal surgery in 2010, look for Sara to make a comeback to running and kick some major ass in the coming year. You can follow her journey firsthand in the aptly named Reconstructing a Beer Runner series on the FitMilwaukee blog. Her husband Augie is a budding beer runner in his own right who recently completed the Tyranena Brewery Beer Run half marathon. As they say on Twitter, #GoSaraGo!

Claire runs for beer

Claire Walsh

Will Run For Beer blogger Claire Walsh has had an epic 2010. She smashed her marathon PR and ran an eye-popping and Boston qualifying 3:36:59. She drank a lot of good beer. And she followed that up with a victory lap (or several victory laps) with the inaugural We’ll Run For Beer bar crawl. “I’ve been really fortunate to have achieved so many of my running goals over the past several years,” she blogged. “But without a doubt, my proudest running accomplishment is the successful orchestration of today’s inaugural We’ll Run For Beer event.” I told her I think she should take this show on the road. I can’t wait to see how she tops this in 2011.


Bikerly (aka Jim) is obviously into bikes, as anyone who attended the newly launched Bike School in 2010 knows. But it looks like more and more his focus has turned to running these days. He also provided the inspiration for my idea to run and drink beer every day for a year, and I don’t think I could do it without his constant encouragement. And according to Jim, the secret to running injury free is beer. Expect good health and running from Jim in 2011. But really keep an eye out for more secret plans, which he is known for hatching with his partners in crime.

Suzi Storm

Suzi Storm

Suzi is a total inspiration. I could not put it better than her Twitter profile: “I drink a lot beer. I’ve lost a lot of weight. And I’m running a bunch of miles. I am awesome.” Truer words were never tweeted. Suzi has lost more than 92 pounds through Weight Watchers without giving up beer, gone from hating running to being a full-fledged half marathoner, and has the best blog name in the history of blogs. Next year she will go for broke and run her first ever marathon. On October 2nd she’ll race the Wineglass Marathon, which is also where Claire ran her Boston qualifying PR. I’ll let her explain her motivation: “I don’t want to just run a marathon to say I ran a marathon,” she writes. “I want to run it to prove *I CAN* run it! I have a year people. A year to become the best I can be, because becoming great does not just happen overnight.”

Steve Speirs

Steve is a serious badass. Every time I turn around he’s doing an ultra run, running a sub-3 hour marathon as a training run or winning races. I think it might be because of his regular pre-race night Guinness routine. Or the Beer of the Night he has every evening. Or the beer he occasionally downs with gummy bears and Hammer gels in long training runs. Whatever the reason, he recently carved 3 minutes and 40 seconds off his already amazing marathon PR with a 2:47 at the Marine Corps Marathon. He’s already plotting again to lower that PR in 2011. And when he does, Steve celebrates every PR with (what else?) a beer. Also check out his RunBulldogRun.com blog for a rich source of education on active topics ranging from strength training to running shoes.


Jonathan Surratt

DRAFT’s own Web Director and Beermapping founder (aka Beerinator) is becoming an increasingly dedicated Beer Runner, especially for someone who’s stated goal is merely to “train until I am fast enough so that I won’t be passed by any racers wearing a banana costume.” He recently PR’d at the 8K, and plans to break 40 minutes at that distance. And if you’re not following his photo blog chronicling his main fuel source, you’re missing out. It’s been equally inspiring and entertaining to watch Jonathan’s steady progress since he started running a year and a half ago, and I expect him to have a breakout 2011.

Jason Kehl

In May of 2010, Jason started a blog to document his weight loss journey. “I’m a normal guy by American standards,” he wrote. “That means, I’m overweight.” He started running and quickly made some major progress, cutting down from 252 pounds in February to under 200 in June. In September, he finished his first ever half marathon in Chicago. Today Jason is also the cohost of the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast, which just finished their 20th show. He recently recorded a live show where he and his partner in crime Ray ran 9 miles and drank a bunch of beer. I know he will keep the momentum going in 2011. Cheers, Jason!

See Caleb fly

Caleb Masland

Caleb is kind of a super hero, I think. I first heard of him after he turned in the fastest time in DailyMile’s Turkey Trot 5K (a blistering 16:58). Turns out, he’s also a home brewer and beer drinker. According to his bio on RunTalkRadio.com (which he co-hosts), Caleb rededicated himself to running in 2007 after having his ACL reconstructed. Since then, he’s become passionate about the science, history, and theory of running while breaking a number of PRs and qualifying for Boston with a sub-3 marathon. Watch for him to do great things at the Georgia Marathon in March, where his goal is to place as high as he can.

Trish Taylor

2010 was Trish‘s third year of running, and also the year she really kicked it up a notch. She joined a running club, took on a running event every weekend, and started doing a trail running series. Look for her to continue her hot streak in 2011, and she’s getting a head start on beer running with a Pub Run for Toys for Tots. She’s also part of Stinky Tuesdays, a group that runs a 3-mile loop to an Irish pub to get treated to free beer each week. Plus, she does RAGBRAI, a beer-filled bike ride that is near and dear to my heart.

Joel at Boston

Joel Patenaude

Nine years ago the Silent Sports magazine editor ran his 1st marathon in 3:59. At his 16th marathon this year, he probably would have run a sub-3 hour finish, had he not taken a notorious wrong turn. I’m sure he’ll rectify that with a vengeance in 2011. He’s coming off 2010 in amazing shape, including improving his half marathon by a whopping 9 minutes and lowering his 10K PR by 2+ min in a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. When it comes to beer he prefers dark local microbrews, especially from Central Waters Brewery in Amherst, Wisconsin. He finished a Glacial Trail IPA of theirs after running his first ultra, the Glacial Trail 50K through the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Neil Franzen

Neil is a distance running initiate, food enthusiast, beer fiend (especially of the local variety) and organic farm intern. The former high-school sprinter turned runner loves local craft beer, especially after (and sometimes before) running. Despite battling asthma, he is closing in on 7min/mi pace at 5k distance. He ran his first official race this month and is looking to enter many more in 2011. His big goal? Jogging the Kettle Moraine North trails in one day.

He's no dummy

Idiot Runner

He used to smoke. He drinks too much. And now, he’s going to run too much. Or try, at least. That’s the motto of the man who calls himself Idiot Runner, who went from zero exercise and smoking to a marathoner in five months this year. And considering a hip injury meant he wasn’t able to train for seven weeks before the marathon… “Well, I’m thrilled,” he writes. For an emotional three-part recap of his race (including a mid-race visit from his mom), check out his blog. Oh, and he also had to drink beer before his marathon. He may be an idiot, but he’s no dummy.


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] draftmag.com.


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  • Loving the Bike says:

    Awesome……cool list. Yeah, you can’t do a top beer runners post without mentioning @bikerly. I’ll be watching for all of these guys.


  • esagor says:

    Great list! These folks get it. Thanks Tim for pulling the list together.

  • @AimeeSpencer says:

    I want to follow & support all of these beer runners. Thank you Tim for assembling this impressive and comprehensive list for the rest of us (past, present and future beer runners of the world).

  • Mike says:

    What about that guy Mike who founded Tacoma Runners last January, a beer running club that now regularly draws 80+ a week. That guy’s a stud. Totally down for the cause.

  • Groucho Sports says:

    WOOT for Bikerly! I second Aimee – psyched to follow and support all of the beer runners that made this list (and thanks for the great read, Tim).

  • Sara Jane says:

    Follow Claire Walsh to the finish. She has class, Charisma, and lots of talent.

  • Beer Run ideas says:

    You all seem like beer running experts. Any fun tips? I have to organize the first beer run for my Chicago running club and we want toake it a beer rum with games or something!

  • jiiiik.com says:

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