Don't try to drive through downtown Pensacola on a Tuesday evening.* Every week 300(ish) runners take to the streets for a free, weekly 5k "fun run" hosted by McGuire's Run Club. (Unsurprisingly, there are fewer runners when temperatures climb into the 100s, and there are more runners when there is free beer).
The tradition started seven years ago, right after Hurricane Ivan. McGuire's Irish Pub wanted to do something to give back to the community, which was still reeling from storm damage... and from that one idea, a tradition was born.
McGuire's staff say that about two dozen people attended the inaugural run, and they were thrilled when they reached 50 runners. Now the weekly event requires a police escort (note: thank you police officers!!!) and over the past seven years more than 11,000 runners have run the 3.1 miles route along Pensacola Bay. (Yes. Hubby and I count for 2 of those 11,000.)
To celebrate their 7th birthday, the restaurant (also a brewery) provided two kegs of their beer to thank the runners who attended. (Happy birthday to us!) And it's almost my one year anniversary with the run club, too! (Like I need an excuse to celebrate running?)
|I think this is the first (and probably last) time I|
color-coordinated with my beer.
Does your hometown have any running traditions?
Do you celebrate running anniversaries?
*Note: The traffic really is not that bad -- a 3 or 4 minute delay, tops. But tonight there was some crazy guy blaring his horn at us and shouting out the window of his car. First time I've ever seen that happen! Maybe he was trying to be funny? Either way, I'd hate to see that guy in "real" traffic!