Running and beer do not usually mix. Unless you are trying to conquer the “Beer Mile” beer, running, and the rather heavy growler do not make a great combination. Against all conventional thought the Bridge Brewing Company developed the 10km Growler Run. 2015 marked the third annual event where close to 50 participants met at the North Vancouver based brewery to test their stamina and ability to master a fringe-running event.
A 10km running race is a challenge for many. When participants carry a 1.89l Growler filled with water in each hand for the duration things get a little tricky. A growler is easy to carry when you walk from the brewery to your car but when you start running things get interesting. Beer Me BC has been there for each of the three events so if you were wondering, here is a rough outline of what you may expect in such a race. These are the thoughts that run through the mind of a Growler Runner
- This is awesome! I feel great and am close to the front of the pack, maybe I’ll make a move for the lead! I really thought that these bottles were going to be heavier and that they would be harder to hold. The handles are actually surprisingly comfortable on my hands.
- Okay, these growler bottles are starting to get heavy. Someone is coming up behind me, I better speed up if I am going to stay near the front. I bet we are at least 3km into the race now. Time to switch up how I am holding the bottles.
- I SHOULD NOT have switched positions. My arms feel like they are going to fall off. Time to switch back! We have to be getting close to the turnaround point now!
- I think my growlers are leaking on me. Why are my forearms so wet? On No! I almost dropped one of them… Breathe…. You are almost there…
- How are there people already on their way back already? I can’t believe how far ahead of me they are! Gotta speed up, gotta speed up, gotta speed up…. time for a walking break.
- It’s the home stretch now! Look at all these people that are behind me. I must be doing great! This is my second wind!!!
- How are we not finished yet? I am going to check the map when I get back. This is WAY more than 10km! I am not sure if my bruised ribs or bleeding thumbs hurt more. Oh no, it is the fact that my shoulders are dislocating.
- Okay, there has to be an eleventh way that I can hold these growlers. I have not exhausted all the methods. Oh, I’ll balance them on my shoulders!
- Shoulders were a BAD idea – almost dropped them again. Back to football position! Why are these bottles so slippery? This race is never going to end. Why would anyone ever do this? Oh yeah, there is beer at the finish line!
- Okay, time to regain some energy, When I come up to the final corner I need to look good. I’ll sprint to the finish and everyone will think I was just taking it easy. Okay here comes the corner, only 100m to go, 50m to go, 20m to go – okay I’ll just walk across the line. No one will notice…
- That was awesome!!!! I can’t wait until next year! Time for Beer – It’s 5:00 somewhere!
As each participant goes through a 10km monologue the delirium and camaraderie of the situation kicks in and the beer is flowing. At the finish line is a cheering line of runners and supporters who are waiting with cold beer. Nothing tastes better than a cold beer after running 10km carrying two glass bottles weighing more than 5lbs each, all before 10am.
Beer drinkers are an interesting bunch. Not many people would go through such suffering for the bragging rights of saying that they conquered the growler. Each year, this masochistic event attracts a cult following of participants and continues to grow. Training is not required for such an event but is advised. It is time to start preparing for the 2016 Bridge Brewing Growler Run. It will be here before you know it and those growlers are not going to get any lighter.
A special thank you to Bridge Brewing, Famoso Pizza, Forerunners and Deep Cove Outdoors for making the 2015 Growler Run a success. All proceeds from this event are being donated to the North Vancouver branch of the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue