Beer and running have long been linked in the Western New York community. Just ask any 5K race director about the request for the beverage at the post-race party.
The connection is growing within the local brewing community. The latest entry is Resurgence Brewing Company, which is serving as sponsor and host of the Resurgence Half Marathon, 10K and 5K on June 20.
The idea started when Anne and Dan Horan, owners of Eclipse Multisport, met with Jeff Ware, the owner of Resurgence Brewing, about another potential 5K race in conjunction with an Oktoberfest idea he’s working on. Meeting at the brewing company’s new location on Chicago Street, the Horans were impressed with the new space and noted that it was on the course for their Queen City Half Marathon, which they were looking to rebrand.
“We thought this would be the perfect place to have the start and finish,” Anne Horan said. “They were super stoked about it and we went from there. Resurgence is having a carb-loading happy hour during packet pickup before the race, and on race day we’re starting the 10K and half marathon at 8 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m. so people finish around the same time making for a more festival-type atmosphere.”
The half-marathon course will follow much of the previous Queen City route with 90 percent of it along the Outer Harbor.
Resurgence joins other breweries that are promoting beer and an active lifestyle, including Flying Bison, the modern trailblazer of the combination in Western New York.
The trend began with Flying Bison's beer, Rusty Chain, which launched in 2007 as a collaboration with the non-profit Go Bike Buffalo.
Three years ago, it launched the Urban Run series -- an informal run group that met at the brewery on Seneca Street at 11 a.m. on one Saturday a month. And the idea took off. It’s a free run with no club to join.
“There’s no real commitment for people,” Flying Bison founder Tim Herzog said. “You can come for a run and have a beer, or a soda pop or water. You get to meet people. It’s just a great opportunity for people to get up out of their house.”
The runs are casual, usually include two distances, and welcome runners of all paces. As the Urban Runs took hold, organizer Dennis Brinkworth responded to feedback, such as providing run cue sheets. Most sessions have special guests, including promotions from the Buffalo Marathon, various shoe vendors, and support from Runner’s Roost.
With the success of the monthly Saturday morning runs, Brinkworth expanded the idea. Flying Bison is trying a Wednesday night run group, meeting at 6 every other Wednesday. The brewery has also become the home of the 15K race Run 716 and hosted Lululemon’s first foray into the 5K racing world. It further extended its connection to active lifestyles last year with the introduction of Yoga at the Brewery with One Yoga and Brewery Burn with Orangetheory Fitness.
“Running is our platform,” Brinkworth said. “I wanted to bring in other things which would help runners. So the yoga we do is geared toward runners.”
Flying Bison keeps all its sponsored Saturday morning events free with one complimentary pint after the run, yoga, or workout session.
All Saturday events begin at 11 a.m., with Urban Runs scheduled for Feb. 29, March 14, April 18, May 7 and June 6 with Yoga at the Brewery scheduled for Feb. 22, March 21, and April 25. Dates for the Brewery Burn in 2020 are still to be announced.
New life for Distance Classic
Those looking for a challenge in 2020 still will have the opportunity to test their mettle at the BuffaloRunners 6 Hour Distance Classic.
Charlie and Sarah Anderson have taken over as race directors for the cult classic, held on the Amherst Bike Path at the Northtown Center. The event was founded as a no-frills race to let runners experiment with an ultra-marathon distance of their choice under friendly, but real, race conditions. The entire course is run on the traffic-free paved path. It’s a P-shaped loop of almost 3.25 miles.
“We both loved the race enough the first time we did it in 2013 that we did what we could to get others to sign up and join us in following years,” Sarah Anderson said. “It’s one of our top 10 favorite races. There’s always been a relaxed family feel to the race for us. It’s about you and what you can do in six hours, should you choose to go the the full time.”
If you’re new to the concept, here’s how it works: The course is open for six hours. Runners can choose to go the entire six hours. They can take breaks. They can choose to see how far they can run in six hours or go for a predetermined distance. Always wanted to try to run a half marathon or a marathon? You have six hours to do it.
“The race is a great opportunity to try something new,” Anderson said. “It’s even a Boston qualifier.”
The race will be held Sunday, April 26.
Runner of the Year Series
With the ending of the Shoes for the Shelter 5K, the 2020 Buffalo News Runner of the Year Series will be 10 events.
Mark your calendars: Shamrock Run 8K (March 7), GBTC Half Marathon (May 2), St. Gregory the Great Great Race 5K (June 19), Depew-Lancaster Boys and Girls Club 10K (July 4), Subaru Buffalo 4-Mile Chase, Ronald McDonald House 5K, Checker’s Mueller Mile, Tom Donnelly’s Hall of Fame 5K (Sept. 4), Strider Glider ¼ Marathon (Oct. 17), and the YMCA Turkey Trot 8K (Nov. 26).
Sunday, Jan. 26
- Penguin Run 5K, 11 a.m., Classics V Banquet Facility, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst
Sunday, Feb. 2
- Mr. Ed's Superbowl Warm-Up, 5K, 11:30 a.m., Middleport Fire Hall, 28 Main St., Middleport
Saturday, Feb. 8
- Lockport 10, 10-mile, 5-mile, relay, 10 a.m., The Historic Palace Theater, 2 East Ave., Lockport
- Beast of Burden, 100 Miles, 50 Miles, 25 Miles, 10 a.m., The Nelson C. Goehle Widewaters Marina, 718 Market St., Lockport
- Frozen Chozen, 5K, 10 a.m., St. John's S Lutheran Church, 4536 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park
- Braving the Elements, 5K, 11 a.m., Arcade Elementary School, 315 W. Main St., Arcade
Saturday, March 7
- Shamrock Run, 8K, noon, Old First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic St., South Buffalo
Saturday, March 14
- St. Patrick's Day Rock'n 5K, noon, Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company, 625 Nancy Price Road, Youngstown
Wednesday, April 1
- Flatliner Series No. 1, 3 miles, 6:15 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Saturday, April 4
- Feel the Spirit 5K, 11 a.m., Infant of Prague Church, 921 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga
Wednesday, April 8
- Flatliner Series No. 2, 3 miles, 6:15 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Wednesday, April 15
- Flatliner Series No. 3, 3 miles, 6:15 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Wednesday, April 22
- Flatliner Series No. 4, 3 miles, 6:15 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Saturday, April 24
- Environ, 5K, 10:30 a.m., Niagara Falls State Park, Goat Island