Most people don’t associate the phrase “going for a run” with “drinking a beer.” (Though if you do -- congrats on being a very talented runner. And how the hell do you keep the beer from spilling everywhere?) Drinking and running don’t generally go hand in hand, but Denver, Colorado’s Cortney Logan and Alexandra Weissner had the genius idea to combine running and boozy brunches for bRUNch Running. And they’re in the process of bringing their infectiously fun brunch-and-beer-filled hangs to a city near you.
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How running and brunching began:
“It started with our own personal Sunday habit,” Weissner explains. “We were going to a lot of races, crossing the finish line, and noticing there wasn’t great beer -- or food [available].” Naturally, she and her pal would go to brunch in search of both, and soon had the idea to start a group for runners who could meet in front of a restaurant, go for a run, and then eat together. That evolved into partnering with local restaurants and offering Denverites a genius deal: an all-inclusive 5k or 10k run and subsequent boozy meal with a group of other brunch-lovers.
That was four years ago. And as you might imagine, people dug the idea. Every October since, the ladies have hosted a huge blowout bRUNch Run in Denver with lots of beer, bloodys, mimosas, live music, and food from more than 15 restaurants. They’ve since held events in Boulder and Fort Collins, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Austin, TX; and New York City. And good news for those who live in San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, or Washington, DC: they’re coming soon to your city.
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Who goes brunch running:
If you’re thinking that the event sounds fun, but you’re not a serious enough runner to participate -- think again. Logan says that people are welcome to walk, jog, or run like the wind on their 5ks. (Might want to leave the Segway at home, though, unless you want to be known as a cheater.) “Sponsored athletes have run with us,” Logan tells us. “And we’ve had people who’ve never run before. They try...so they can eat brunch after.”
And if you try, who knows? Maybe you could discover a new passion. “We had a gal who’s been running with us for three years,” Logan says. “She was never a runner. Now she’s running in races, and she loves it.” Granted, if you give it a shot, it’s also possible that you could never get into running, but fall in love with pancakes and beer.
Of course, the part of bRUNch Running that excites us the most is the beer, which is always on the menu at any given brunch spot. The bRUNch crew has partnered with Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Co. to supply beer to all of their brunches at restaurants in Colorado (Weissner helps the brewery with public relations). And they’ve also partnered with a ton of excellent breweries from around the country to provide runners with a celebratory beer to drink when they cross that imaginary finish line. Colorado stalwarts like Mountain Sun Pubs and New Belgium Brewing, New York’s Brooklyn Brewery (in collaboration with a Shake Shack event), and Phoenix’s OHSO have all been on the brunch menu before. They even hosted brunch at Longmont, CO’s Shoes & Brews -- a specialty running store that also functions as a taproom and brewery. If only running social clubs and a businesses could get legally married…
If you’re still on the fence about all this running, day-drinking, and merrymaking -- don’t be afraid. “A lot of people will run their first 5k or 10k with us because it’s not an intimidating setting,” Weissner says. “It’s not timed. We’re just helping people get moving, which is what they’re interested in, in addition to the social aspect.”