It's a mantra that can be found on T-shirts, and occasionally heard in training groups, before, during and after a long run in the Tri-State: "Pain now...beer later."
Magazines and nutritionists also debate the benefits and drawbacks of barley and hops as part of a runner's routine. See Runner's World's "Is Beer Good for Runners" as a prime example: http://www.runnersworld.com/drinks-hydration/beer-run .
One thing that is not debated in Cincinnati though, is its growing love affair with both local craft beer and running events. As the number of one increases, so it seems, does the other. So it only makes sense that the two would be wed in large races (or beer runs) that draw serious athletes and amateurs alike who reward themselves with a frothy beverage after (and sometimes during) a sweaty jog.
What follows is a survey of area races that incorporate Cincinnati's two passions (five in total so far):
Christian Moerlein Beer Series
Celebrating its inaugural year, the beer series consists of three races that marry beer, local history, and running.
Sponsored by both Christian Moerlein and the Flying Pig Marathon, the series is dedicated to "celebrate Cincinnati's rich history of brewing and running," according to the Flying Pig website.
The first two races in the series took place in March and May, but the capstone event, the Hudepohl 14K & 7K Brewery Run, is set for Sept. 21. The full 8.6 mile course starts at the Moerlein Lager House in The Banks and winds its way through old breweries that once existed near downtown.
To keep runners motived on the course, here is a friendly reminder of what awaits finishers of the race: a race shirt, commemorative pint glass, poster and finisher’s medal, plus a post-race party that includes Hudepohl beer, Skyline Chili, and other goodies at the Lager House.
And for those who ran the previous two races (The Bockfest 5K in March and the Little Kings Mile in May) they will also receive a commemorative gift from the Flying Pig Marathon organization. If you missed out on either of the races, don't fret, with the popularity of beer and running in Cincinnati, the series will surely return.
For more information and to register for the Hudepohl 14K visit here: http://hudepohl14kbreweryrun.com/
Tap 'N' Run Cincinnati
Alas, this race is over (It happened June 1), but after its second year in the Tri-State, the race continues to grow in popularity. An event totally dedicated to drinking (and running, sort of), the Tap 'N' Run is actually a regional series of races centered around, you guessed it, drinking beer.
Organizers of the event reward local runners with "a 4k with 3 beer chug stations along the race course, a full beer at the Finish Line, crazy costumes, great times with friends, and unbelievable athleticism," according to the race website.
The 2013 beer run started at the Purple People Bridge downtown and looped its way past Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park before ending at the Banks.
For more information on the Tap 'N' Run series visit: http://www.tapnrun.com/
Cincinnati Beer Run
BJ Eggars loves two things, a good locally crafted brew and local running courses. In the spirit of those passions, the entrepreneur has crafted a fall race in which the main ingredients involve all three.
"Basically, what we are trying to do with these roads going forward is to promote breweries in the area," Eggars said of the beer run's mission.
A 4K race that starts in Newport and ends in Newport, the race will offer participants, 21 years old and up, the chance to taste regional craft beers, and enjoy Newport's Oktoberfest at Newport at the Levee in the end.
Of the number of races, and breweries popping up in Greater Cincinnati, Eggars said he's happy to join a growing number of local race events that celebrate beer.
"I think it’s great," Eggars said. "I think that even the younger generation is becoming more accepting of craft beer. Then you also have The Banks that introduced beers to the area. I think it has kind of opened up minds in the early 20s."
For more information about the Cincinnati Beer Run visit: https://www.facebook.com/Cincinnatibeerrun