Race Recap: Stowe Craft Brew Race 5k 2017

Where/When: May 20, 2017, 12 pm in Stowe, VT

Weather: Mid-60’s and sunny–perfect running weather!

Pre-Race:
Unlike when I did this race two years ago, I got there plenty early, and traffic was not an issue. I met my friend Megan in the parking area at about 11:20, and we were through the bib pickup line in about 10 minutes. There was a DJ playing music, plenty of porta-potties, and a water station right there at the start. We hung out, enjoying the sun and stretching, until about 10 minutes to noon, when we lined up in the starting chute.

Photo May 20, 11 58 31 AM

On the Course:
The race started right on time at noon, and we set off at an easy pace. Megan hadn’t ever run a 5k before, so we were taking it slow. After the first mile, we took our first walk break. The course was exactly the same as when I last did it; the first mile and a half are on a closed road, and the rest is on the bike path.

There was a water stop at the halfway mark, but Megan was carrying water and I wasn’t thirsty, so we didn’t stop. We took another walk break right before mile 2 to let Megan’s breathing ease up (she has mild asthma). We started running again after only a short break, and ran the remaining mile except for one uphill, and finished just under 42 minutes.

Post-Race:
The finish line was MUCH better organized than last time I did this race. First was a line of volunteers handing out medals, then a line of volunteers with water bottles, and then a final wave of volunteers with Kind bars. It was easy to get one of everything and I didn’t feel rushed or like I had to compete with anybody to get what I needed. Megan and I sat in the grass, stretching and hydrating a bit, before heading to our cars to change for the finish line Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 1 07 54 PM

I have to say, this year’s Brew Fest was AWESOME. There were definitely more breweries in attendance than last time, and lots more food options too. There was also cornhole, giant sets of Jenga, and a live band. The lines were never out of control, there were plenty of water stations, and it was just a gorgeous day. For the money, I feel like this is a better deal than the Burlington Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 3 11 48 PM

We did a great job of alternating beer samples with glasses of water, and had DELICIOUS food truck fajitas for a late lunch. Samples were being served until 4pm, but Megan and I both left around 3:30. I had to get down to Stowe village for the Stowe Theatre Guild Season Kick-Off Cabaret (which was SO MUCH FUN), and Megan needed to get home to pack because she’s moving next weekend.

Photo May 20, 12 48 06 PM

All in all, this was a great experience. The Craft Brew Race has definitely addressed a lot of the issues that I had the first time I ran this race, and made lots of obvious improvements. All runners received a medal and pint glass, plus admission to the Brew Fest. There were also festival-only tickets, as well as steeply discounted designated driver tickets, so there was something for everyone. Admittedly, if it had been raining, it would have been a different story because there was no where to get out of the rain, but for the day we had, I have zero complaints, and I would do this race again in a heartbeat.

Have you ever done a Craft Brew Race? If you like beer and a well-organized race, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Oh, Beer!

This weekend was the Great International Beer Festival in Providence, RI.  Ben and I have attended the last 2 years with our friends Deanna and Eric, so this year makes 3 straight years.  Woo!  I know this has been mostly a running blog, but I figure there have got to be other running beer lovers like me out there.  Amiright?

Photo Apr 12, 8 50 03 AMTo start things off on the right foot, I went for my long run on Saturday morning–7.1 miles.  Another distance record, baby, yeah!  And the crazy thing is, if I’d had my hydration belt like I was supposed to (d’oh!), I probably could have gone longer.  Half Marathon, here I come!  Anyway, then it was stretch, roll, shower, and hit the road!  I got a breakfast sammie at Dunks and we picked up our buddy Pete, who was road tripping down with us.

Any way you want it!

Any way you want it!

We dropped Pete off in Arlington and got to our friends’ place in Mansfield, MA at about 2:30.  We spent some quality catch-up time together, then hopped in the car for the half hour-ish drive to Providence.  We went to Luxe Burger Bar for dinner.  You can build your own burger, and they have about 6 different burger options, 4 different bun options, endless toppings, sauces, and cheese stuffed tater tots.  Holy delish!  Unfortunately, Luxe was having an off night–lots of drunken jerks who had obviously caught the early session of the brewer’s fest, and some major diva action from other patrons.  We ate quickly and headed on over to the beer fest.

Sadly, it seemed like many fewer breweries were taking part this year–a couple of notable absences were Brooklyn Brewery, which is one of our favorites who has been there in past years, and Foolproof, which is actually a Rhode Island brewery.  Weird.  Apparently there was a craft brew festival happening in Boston this weekend too, so maybe that explains it.

Regardless, some of our favorites were there, including Lagunitas.  They are a CA brewery and I have never had a beer from them I didn’t like.  My favorite of their samples was the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, but their regular Lagunitas IPA is one of my all-time favorite beers.  After many, many samples and some really unique finds (grapefruit Shandy by Traveller and a Ginger beer called Crabbies by Six Point), we decided to head home much earlier than usual.

Don't be jealous of my selfie skills

Me, Ben, Eric, and Deanna in front. Don’t be jealous of my selfie skills.

Deanna and I napped in the car, and on the way home was stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Best. Idea. Ever.  I was pleasantly buzzed but not sloppy, but I switched to water when we got home anyway.  I chugged 2 16 oz bottles while we played the board game Quelf (ridiculous and fun with the right group of people).  We ended up going to bed around 12:30 because Ben fell asleep watching TV.

On Sunday morning, we slept in a bit, then hit the Cafe on the Common in Mansfield for brunch.  We didn’t have to wait for a table, and the place was very cute.  Great staff, amazing food, and good prices.  I got the Fenway Omelet, which has sausage, mozzarella, peppers and onions, with an English muffin and sinfully good homefries.  Then it was back in the car.  We picked Pete up in Arlington and hit the road.

Photo Apr 13, 10 40 22 AM

The real bonus was that we stopped at the LL Bean Outlet in Concord, NH, and I scored a pair of flip-flops for $9.99 and two pairs of Smart Wool running socks for $7.99 a piece—that’s less than half price, guys!  Seriously, if you live near Concord, you should check it out.  They didn’t have a huge selection of running socks in Medium, but I just got two pairs of the same color.  Total win.

It was a jam-packed weekend, and I had a wonderful time.  It was awesome to see Deanna and Eric, and even though the Brew Fest had a few disappointments, it’s hard to be upset about sampling dozens of tasty beers and spending time with your friends.  Now I’m just hoping we can score tickets for the Vermont Brew Fest in July–tickets typically sell out within hours!

Have you ever been to a brew fest?  What’s your favorite beer?

 

No Craft Brew Race for Me

Ultimate sadness, guys.  I just realized that the Craft Brew 5k I was super excited about is the same day as our friends, Ben and Lizzie’s wedding.  Boooooo.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m REALLY excited about this wedding.  Ben, Ben and I all lived together in college with our other roommates Hillary and Emily.

Roomies-please ignore my crazy faces...

Roomies! Please ignore my crazy faces… HiIlary is the redhead, my Ben is behind me, roomie Ben on the left, Emily below.

We’re all going to be at the wedding, and I’m excited to party it up college style for a weekend.  However, I was also really excited to run a 5k and then attend a craft brew festival.  Oh well.  Maybe next year!