On Sunday September 18th I had the pleasure of being part of the Brew Crew at the first official Famous Canadian Beer Run.
Hundreds of beer and running enthusiasts ran around Ontario Place for a 5K run-meets-craft beer and food festival. This was the first race of its kind in Toronto, pairing participants’ passion for running and love of a post-run cold one.
Being part of the “Brew Crew” didn’t require me to “pace” or anything serious – it was in fact the opposite or “serious”, my goal was to dress up and help runners have a blast and well at a themed run like this it was very easy to do.
This run route was awesome. The route ventured around and through Ontario Place, where we checked out the scenic lake and city skyline views while touring the east and west islands. We definitely went to places in Ontario I had never been, and some I haven’t seen for many years. In addition, we were also treated to a preview of the art installations which were set up as part of the in/future art experience taking place simultaneously.
Post-run participants kicked back, danced, and waited in line at the Craft Beer and Food Festival. As part of the race entry we were given free beer tickets for samples of the finest craft brews from Ontario brewers, as well as gourmet food from the city’s top food trucks. These were also available for purchase (cash only). Live entertainment also took place at the Heritage Square post-race party.
The $50 run entry was a great value which included
- Entry into post-run Craft Beer & Food Festival
- 4 beer/beverage chips (good for two 8 oz. beers, or four 4 oz. beer samples)
- Commemorative beer stein
- Run t-shirt
- Customized race bib
- Race kit filled with samples
The run did have a few logistical problems resulting from lack of volunteers and being a first time experience. The lines everywhere were very long. Registration had to be checked when entering Ontario Place as there were two types of tickets – the run – the festival – so they had to confirm everyone had paid. Once you were in the park we lined up again and this time it was to get our race kits. Had the bib numbers been emailed prior, or even a link to check them ourselves online, we would’ve saved time. More volunteers could’ve helped more things along here as well. As a result of these two lines the start of the race was delayed and all subsequent waves were pushed back. The wave starts were pretty relaxed and even with these lines people were in great spirits.
Now the other problem…the 5km run route was only 4.3km long. Obviously not great, but this was a run, not a race, and it wasn’t timed at all, BUT integrity is important and I think this is a big mistake, but one that can easily be fixed for next year.
The run was promoted really well, had a great route, and a wonderful atmosphere and energy. Even with these two hiccups, the runners had great attitudes and very few people were getting upset. I’m sure if the run happens again they will be on top of these two mishaps and so I would highly suggest anyone who likes beer gets in on this event. Bring your friends, dress up, and have an awesome afternoon.