Only in Colorado would we combine two of our favorite things, craft beer and running, in one location. Shoes & Brews, half running store half craft brewery, is doing just that. It’s the only place in the nation where you can shop for top-of-the-line running gear AND enjoy a pint of tasty craft beer. It also happens to be a mere 25 minute drive from my house.
When I found out about the Solemates CollaBEERation 5k & Brewfest hosted by Shoes & Brews and Left Hand Brewing, my husband said he’d run it with me. This made me super excited because my husband doesn’t run; a lifetime of playing hockey makes for uncooperative knees. Instead, he supports me by being my race photographer (because he’s the bestest). So I signed us up, and then we learned were there was unlimited beer samples at the finish!
I picked up our packets and was thrilled with what was inside, and with the lack of what was inside. Included were a sweet, light-weight race hat from Headsweats, a granola packet from Barbara’s Better Granola, a Honey Stinger Energy Gel, and a coupon for a RoadID bracelet. What was missing was excessive flyers and advertisements and other things that normally end up in the garbage or recycle bin. One of my very favorite things about this race is that it was at 10 am not at 6 am. I appreciated the extra blanket snuggling time, specially since it was cold that morning!
I love small races where the mood is fun and festive and this race is both of those things! The crowd was smiling and eager to get the race started.
The course ran along the St. Vrain Greenway in Longmont, CO, and we enjoyed great views of the Front Range and Longs Peak.
We ran intervals because my lungs were not happy and my husband was sore from skating. Our pace was 12:31, which is about average for me and I loved being out there him. We held hands when we walked and cheered each other on as we ran. It was one of my most fun races!
We crossed the finish and smiling volunteers cheered for us, all the volunteers were great! The expo was rocking with live music, and we hurried to get our free beer sample because we were THIRSTY!
The free samples ended up being free PINTS, so that was awesome!
We enjoyed our beer and the band, but decided not to have a second cup. We were hungry and went and ate eggs benedict instead. We opted not to take the shuttle limo, hilarious as it was, and chose to walk the 700 meters back to the parking lot.
This was such a fun race that I think it will be my new favorite local 5k!It had a great vibe and chill atmosphere. It’s a young race so they are working out kinks, (some porta potties at the aid station would be great), but they do a great job and the volunteers were fantastic. I’ll definitely be there next year!
Did you run a race this weekend? Were you at Wine & Dine? Tell us all about it in the comments!