Beer and endurance athletes go together like…well, beer and endurance athletes. Many triathletes can attest to the deliciousness of a cold lager after a long ride, a tasty IPA during an ice bath, or a thick stout to toast a new PR.
If your happy place is located at the intersection of exercising and imbibing, consider adding one of these fun running and triathlon events to your race calendar.
There’s something for everyone at this multisport festival: the weekend hosts two triathlons, two aquabike events, two duathlons, an open-water swim, a 5K, a 10K and a kids’ race. Go ahead, sign up for multiple events—it’ll make your post-race beers from popular Bend brewery Deschutes taste that much better.
Point Bock Run
Stevens Point, Wisc.
For some, getting up the nerve to run in a cold Wisconsin winter might require a little liquid fortification. You’ll find it at the Stevens Point Brewery, where the popular 5-mile race sells out every year within hours of opening. Runners enjoy the flat and fast course, hometown crowds, and—of course—heated beer tent at the finish line.
Finishing the sprint or Olympic distance triathlon at Island Lake Park will earn you a collector’s edition glass for the adjacent Brewfest, where bartenders will refill the glass up to four times and listen to your post-race exploits. Kids in tow? There’s a Root Beer Triathlon for the little ones on the same day.
Craft Brew Races
The 5K series partners with more than 250 small breweries in hopes of exposing athletes to new (and delicious!) brews. After collecting their finisher’s medal (which doubles as a handy bottle opener) runners are welcomed to a three-hour beer festival with unlimited samples from more than 20 local craft brewers.
Flying Fish 5K
Want to get first dibs on the Flying Fish Brewery’s Oktoberfish Fest Beer? You’ll have to work for it. This annual 5K at the Flying Fish headquarters coincides with the release of their popular seasonal brew in one big finish-line festival, where runners can keep the competitive streak going post-race with lawn games such as corn hole, kan jam and life-size beer pong.
Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon
New Preston, Conn.
If wine is more your style, you’ll love this sprint triathlon in a picturesque vineyard. Don’t let the bucolic setting fool you, however—this course is a grueling one, with steep, merciless climbs on the bike and run. The relaxation comes after the race, where a wine and cheese sampler pairs nicely with finisher medals.
Mud, Sweat & Beers Trail Run
As far as mud runs go, this one is as authentic as it gets—the mess doesn’t come from created obstacles, but the combination of slick, hilly trails and multiple creek crossings. Bring your sense of adventure, an extra set of dry clothes, and a willingness to suffer for 7 kilometers. You’ll be rewarded with a few pints at the finish line.
No Label Triathlon
You’ll start your sprint race with a pool swim at a nearby natatorium, then bike and run your way to the finish line at the No Label Brewery, where you’ll get your pick of post-race libations. Try the El Hefe Weizen—it’s a perfect counterbalance to the fire of competition.
Smuttynose Will Run For Beer 5K
The final event of New England’s “Will Run For Beer” Race Series takes place at the Smuttynose Brewery, where 5K finishers toast to a great season of racing (and drinking) with pale ales, porters, IPAs and pilsners.
Can’t wait until the finsh line? There’s beer at the aid stations for thirsty competitors at this challenging obstacle course race. Don’t partake in too much, however—you’ll need your wits about you for this steep, slick and challenging course.