Beer and Running

The relationship between runners and beer can run deep. A friend of mine was asked about beer and running. “Doesn’t drinking beer hurt your running?”

His response: “The only problem with drinking beer and running is you might spill some!”

There seems to be something special about runners and their beer. The drink is common fare at post-race celebrations and some of my happiest memories involve a pint with my friends after a run. Of course, for the performance minded runner, consuming beer should always take place after a race.

There are exceptions of course. Every year the Boise Area Runners – The BAR – holds a brewery run here in Boise that appeals to the runner and beer lover inside me.

I remember showing up to my first brewery run with a mix of curiosity and anticipation. I came prepared with my $10 in cash to give to Woody, (the run host). He explained the route we would follow coursing about six miles through the Boise area.

Twenty or so runners, we ran the mile to our first stop, 10 Barrel Brewing. Woody purchased two or three pitchers and announced the choice of brew. A stack of taster glasses in hand, we all joined in getting familiar with some of Boise’s best micro-brewed beer.

The comfortable autumn weather provided an ideal context for discovering the beauty of Boise’s cityscape and the talent of our local brewers. A little taster at The Ram, Boise Brewing, Woodland Empire, Cloud Nine, and Highlands Hollow gave me a deep appreciation for the quality and variety of craft beer available in the Treasure Valley.

In the last mile a few of us decided to get after it and run “fast” to our final destination. While my head swam from the previous drinks and the exertion to try to keep with the group I gave up in a fit of laughter and joy at being with such great people taking part in two of my favorite activities: running and drinking beer.

You have a few opportunities to join in a brewery run. The BAR’s first this year will be Sunday, March 19 for the Boise Pub Run (details here). A pub run will also be part of the Running Retreat on Saturday, April 22 in McCall (details here). Last, on Sunday, October 15 we will cap the fall weather with a Boise Pub Run (details here). Hopefully you can join us!

See you out on a run!

Randi Walters’ Journey Through Running

We all run for different reasons. What is interesting for Randi Walters is how the reasons and character of her running has taken on additional aspects through the years.

Randi was active in high school. She participated in the team sports and even tried out a Cross Country practice once but decided it was not for her. It wasn’t until she was in graduate school in California that she watched a close friend finish a half marathon. This friend had always told Randi that anyone could run. So, Randi gave it a try.

She jumped right into running at the half marathon level. She ran a three-quarter mile run for her first training run and built from there. The more she ran, the more fit she became. She found that running complemented her graduate studies in that it gave her something else to focus on, to balance out her time. There is so much that feels out of control in graduate school; running became a space where she could see more immediate results. “You can finish a half marathon a heck of a lot faster than you can finish a master’s degree.” Completing her first half marathon is still one of the high points in her life.

Randi soon discovered another aspect of running.  “The more I did it, I started noticing…my fitness was increasing, I just felt better, I felt clearer, like my mind was clearer. I felt happier. It was one of those things where there were just too many pros to not run.” As she kept at it, she joined communities of runners and got better. The better she got the more she wanted to keep doing it. “I started to feel more competitive. I started to place in my age group for events, and I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I am not too bad at this.’”

The drive to compete soon became another component of her running. “It’s not that I felt competitive with the people I was racing against, but I started feeling more competitive with myself.” She began pushing herself and seeing results. As the results of improved times continued, she figured, if she keeps pushing herself, who knows what kinds of results she might see.

Running communities have also added a significant layer to her running. While in California she ran a number of Ragnar Relays and experienced the joy of being involved in team competition running through the night. A highlight of the last Ragnar Relay she ran was taking first place in the open women’s division.

When she and her husband, Austin, decided to move to Boise, they looked up the Boise Area Runners (the BAR) on meetup.com before they even arrived. The BAR has been a big part of her running since relocating. It was at a BAR run where the idea to train to qualify for the Boston Marathon was planted. She trained all summer, running a number of fast laps with the BAR on the Boise High track, and completed a Boston Qualifying time at the Sunriver Marathon this last September. Her training for the Boston Marathon in 2017 begins this coming January.

As Randi reflects on her journey through running and the added dimensions it has taken on, she says, “I still feel at my core I am running for the same reasons, but now it’s like there is this added challenge of trying to do it a little bit faster.” And that is why Randi will be out there running for years to come! See you out on a run!