On Saturday 3/18, as most of the nation was still recovering from the prior St Patrick’s Day festivities, nearly 2,000 green clad runners took the starting line to continue the celebration for the Shamrock 5k Beer Run in Arlington Heights.
The race combined two hobbies of drinking beer and running, building on the tradition of the beer mile with a longer 5k course. A beer run involves drinking beer at the start of a run, and at set intervals throughout the run. There are even competitions and set rules for the alcohol content of the beer allowed.
This race was a more relaxed approach to a beer run with the atmosphere encouraging everyone to have a fun time and enjoy themselves on the course; this was evident with the plethora of green attire including festive leprechaun inspired costumes and even a green gorilla.
The run began with everyone drinking a small cup of beer (around 3oz) and then subsequently at each kilometer marker there were tables with additional beer. They were the ultimate aid stations to those that enjoy a good brew, but the challenge was not for the faint of heart as within a few kilometers into the course several runners were already succumbing to the challenge of running while on a stomach full of beer and walking was unobjectionable for them. But for those able to embrace the challenge, the finish line in downtown Arlington Heights concluded with, you guessed it, a full pint of beer and a race medal that was also a bottle opener.
The course was a mostly flat loop through the scenic neighborhoods starting and finishing downtown near Peggy Kinnane’s, one of the main sponsors. The race also featured brews from Church Street Brewing Company, RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Krombacher, Stone Brewing Company and Cortland’s Garage with each having a different aid station along the course. The race is part of a series with locations also in Rockford and Indianapolis.