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Behind the scenes at a beer run

CATEGORIES: Beer Editor   Beer Runner  

Think of the last race and post-race party that you attended. You signed up, you ran your race, you celebrated with a beer or two and you went home happy.

Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of work that goes into creating and making such an event run smoothly. But you’ve likely never seen the background — until now.

My buddy George sent me a blog on the history of the Cambridge 5K, which is actually a series of races in Massachusetts. It included some context about organizing this type of event that I’d never thought of before.

Here are 3 surprising facts:

They pay for their beer

I assumed most races with beer get free product for their finish line as part of a sponsorship deal. Or they just get whatever’s available from a large brewer. And that’s true for most running events. But the Cambridge 5K series buys their beer because “1. We respect how hard it is to make awesome beer and we want to support Boston’s best brewers. 2. We want to serve the absolute best (and freshest) beer that’s available, NOT a second-tier beer that’s donated for free.”

They emphasize racing over beer

Originally the organizers almost called their events the Craft Race Series. So why the decision to change the name? “As much as we LOVED craft beer, we felt that it was better to create a competitive race series that happened to serve great beer rather than a beer festival with a road race ‘tacked-on.'” That seems like a wise decision to differentiate itself from both beer festivals and races that may attract an audience that are only there for the beer.

They’re adding an express beer system

This could be a game changer. The race is planning to add an “express beer line system” during peak times, because no one likes to stand in long lines for a beer after a tiring run. If this works, it might be something craft beer festivals would like to try. Or porta-potty lines.


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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One Comment

  • Rob says:

    could you elaborate on the “express beer line system”? How will that work? I’m all for a solution to the long beer lines.

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