Why I run with NoDa Running Club…

Lindsay Duncan is a guest contributor who frequently runs with NoDa run club on Wednesday nights in Charlotte, NC. Having ran with NoDa run club I can attest to the legitimacy of their club. However, I felt that a full-fledged member of the club should be the one to describe their experiences of Noda Run Club. NoDa Run Club decided Lindsay would be the best to contribute to this experience ….
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Lindsay is on the left!
I can honestly say that I am a new convert to both Running and to Craft Beer.  A year ago at this time, I vaguely remember sipping a fruity cocktail and adamantly insisting to a runner friend that running was easily the most boring form of exercise. I wholeheartedly believed that the only reason to run was if you are being chased by some large animal.  Now, a year later, I am a IPA loving NoDa run club regular that has recently decided to train for a half marathon.  I have come a long way…
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I have always been athletic and played lots of sports.  I played four years of college soccer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  I graduated my Senior year of Collegiate Athletics completely burned out and tired after 15 years of playing high level soccer.  Since then I have considered myself retired from any type of training and intense sports.   I stayed active by going on walks, attending dance classes, and playing tennis and volleyball leisurely with friends.  I hated running and on the rare occasion that I got it in my head that a run would be a good idea; the minute I started breathing hard was the minute I found myself ready to stop.
noda Beers-for-Boston
I felt like running was a trap where you start out feeling great and the minute you get too far from your house or car, you suddenly start gasping for air and realizing you made a big mistake.
About a year ago, I started hanging out with a group of friends that love craft beer.  I at this time was not a fan of beer.  The only beer I had ever drank were light beers and definitely not craft beers.  I decided beer was not for me and stuck to my delicious white wine and fruity mixed drinks.  After much peer pressure and taking sips of different beers, I found a few of the craft beers brewed with fruits that I found delicious.  That began the gateway into stronger beers and developing a taste for IPAs, stouts and porters.  Now I can say, there are not many craft beers that I absolutely dislike.  There are some that I prefer to sample and wouldn’t order an entire glass of and others that I have grown to love from the bottom of my heart and the bottom of my glass.
NoDa-Run-Club
As I began to hang out at NoDa brewery, I met people who attended the Wednesday NoDa Run Club.  I was persuaded to attend one week with a few friends.  I am a very social person and despite feeling nervous knowing I didn’t like to run, the idea of being with my friends, drinking beer and being outside in the beautiful weather was enough to convince me to go.  I showed up surprised to see over a hundred people, quite a few dogs, and even a few babies in running strollers all hanging outside the brewery.  It was a community of people, there were all levels of runners and an atmosphere of encouragement and friendliness.  There were people there that had run marathons and people there to just take their dog on a little jog.  No matter what pace you run, you will have others there with you every step of the way.
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I remember my first run at NoDa Run Club and I actually was talking to a friend and didn’t see a crack in the sidewalk.  Needless to say, I tripped and fell and before I could even react to get up, two runners I did not know behind me had grabbed my arms, pulled me up and put me back on my feet.  For those that are not the most motivated to run, when you have people surrounding you on every side and you are part of a sea of runners taking over entire roads, it becomes a source of energy to encourage you to finish the run.
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Since that first day, I have made Run Club a standing commitment every Wednesday. Not only am I a regular but I have invited more and more of my friends to come, whether they like to run and drink craft beer or not.  It is the experience of community and the fellowship of doing something good for your health with others.  I have made new friends and my love for beer has only continued to grow.  I have seen my runs get easier and my times get faster. Possibly my growth in love for beer has become the motivation to run faster to get the back to the brewery sooner, who knows. Either way, it is exciting when you see yourself improve and I think the more you run the more you love to run. It is always better to do things in community and running is the best with friends alongside you and a good beer waiting for you at the end.
Noda running club runs a 1, 3, or 5 mile route every Wednesday from NoDa Brewery at 2229 North Davidson Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 at 6:30 pm.  Lindsay can be found on twitter at @linstigator and around Charlotte just being awesome!

Why I run with…The Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners!

Almost two years ago I had my first pleasure of running with the Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners.  I had seen them while running several different races in the Boston area during the previous summers. They would be very easy to spot because of the words “Follow Me To The Beer” inscribed on the back of their running shirts.  A silhouette of Keir Byrnes is on the front of the running shirts.

Kierandbaby

Kier does exist but you may not see him every week since he has this little howler to tend to!

I had known a couple of members of the group for the onset of a couple of years and they had always been extremely friendly.  So on a crisp November night I went on the invite of Tim Briggs to Atwood’s in Cambridge.  I can vividly remember Meeting with Tim, Kier, Kier’s wife Mandy, and a couple of other people.  It was a very small group but a fun group with a run around the Charles River.  I kept running with them even after my other club would do track workouts. We also talked about how much we enjoyed Baxter Stowaway IPA.

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I watched as the club slowly grew in the winter and by the spring became original advertised part of Atwood’s.  Each of the runners got their own run and even The Beer Runner stopped in one time as well.  Heather Vandenengel’s article for the Dig in Boston brought a whole new light to the club and beer running as well.  Afterwards the club grew. However in January of this year we moved over to Courtside because we had outgrown Atwood’s!

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The new relationship with Courtside has been a wonderful one.  They have even improved their beer line up to include Baxter IPA, Troegs Hopback Amber, Allagash White, and Left Hand Milk Stout.  As more people come it will be interesting to see what will be coming next.

 

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The club even stepped up and collaborated with the Race Director of Cambridge 5k the day after the Boston marathon bombing to raise over $4000 for the One Fund.

 

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Every run starts with a Braveheartesqe shout of “Freedom”. The club is still doing a lot of interesting runs for members of the club who have run with us for a while.  They have also incorporated new runs such as a running of the bulls, beach run, and short shorts run (new runners still find us from Vandy’s article on beer and running I mentioned earlier).  Also if you are new then you will receive a cheers from the club.  Jeremy will bring snacks and there is also pizza complimentary of Courtside as well.

 

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Lindsay from Baxter loves cake, Baxter Stowaway IPA, and Photobombing!

Speaking of Baxter they are officially the beer sponsor of the club.  So what are you waiting for?  If you live in the Boston Area you should come and do a run out to the Charles River, Bunker Hill Monument, or create your own.  You either have to run, drink beer, or drink beer and run.

 

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The Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners run out of Courtside in Cambridge, MA at 7:15pm.  They can be found on the web at Kbfreedomrunners.com, on twitter at @kbfreedomrunner, and on face book by searching Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners. 

If you have a run club that has an appreciation of craft beer and running you can be a guest blogger too!  Feel free to email me at Craftbeerandrunning@gmail.com.

Why I run with……

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The Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners. This is a series of posts that are in the works. This being said if you run with a running club that has appreciation for running and craft beer We would love to hear from you!  All we would need is a few short paragraphs or if succinct a paragraph on why you run with the running club you run with.

Feel free to email us at craftbeerandrunning@gmail.com. Happy running and happy drinking!