Runners, runners everywhere! The weather finally seems to have warmed up, and folks are hitting the pavement across the Lehigh Valley. Whether you are new to running or a seasoned veteran, it can be difficult to choose which races to attend. Allow me to offer a “solution” to get your schedule started off on the right foot – run for beer!
The Funk 5 Miler takes place in Emmaus on Saturday, June 9th at 11 a.m. The race starts in the triangle at the center of town, and runs through the residential area – a few hills, but nothing too steep. It concludes with an after-party – including two free beers for each runner from, you guessed it, Funk Brewing. The brewery itself is a few blocks away, and Yergey Brewing is also within walking/limping distance.
The Funk 5 Miler is hosted by Run Lehigh Valley, and is the third and final event in the annual Earn Your Beer series. The series starts in April with the Brew to Brew 10K+, where participants run a fast downhill-ish course between the Fegley’s Brew Works locations in Allentown and Bethlehem. The second race takes places in May at Weyerbacher Brewing – the 5K Hill Challenge. Aptly named, this event winds up and down the hills surrounding the brewery, including one gargantuan ascent in the final mile. Both events also feature post-race fun with free beer and music (Sunsets North brought the party to Weyerbacher last month). It’s never too early to start training for next year!
The Musikfest 5K was announced last week, and takes place on Saturday, August 4th in Bethlehem. Featuring a new course this year, the race starts and ends on the South Side at the SteelStacks, and runners receive their own Musikfest mug and food (*cough* beverage) tickets. As an added bonus, the race starts at 8 a.m. and includes a shuttle pass so you don’t have to fight for parking the rest of the day!
September features the Celtic Classic 5K, hosted by Morning Star Rotary during Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic weekend. While this race doesn’t explicitly provide beer at the end, if you run in a kilt you just might receive an extra “voucher” in your packet. Plus, kilts are actually ideal to race in – very breezy!
The Oktoberfest 5K is another great Bethlehem tradition, with this year’s even scheduled for Sunday, October 7th. Also taking place at the SteelStacks, this event occurs during ArtsQuest’s Oktoberfest celebration – complete with oompah bands, pretzels, dachshund races, and fun for all ages. Participants each receive an exclusive stein of Yuengling Oktoberfest beer upon race completion. This event is hosted by CK Running, which also curates the Jack Daniels Hot Toddy 5K in Philadelphia in December.
To close out the beer run year, RLV also hosts a Santa-themed “race” in December, where participants navigate between different bars for drink specials (and free beer if you’re fast enough), dressed in Santa costumes. A jolly way to socialize and keep warm!
As with any race, it’s important to train…
Cheers and see you at the starting line!