Last month, the underground exercise group Run to Beer Comox Valley turned one. The celebration took place at Land & Sea Brewing Company in Comox, commonly referred to as The Clubhouse within the group. This is where it all started, on a cold, snowy day last January. Five friends gathered and decided to ‘Run to Beer’, although the winter conditions made it more of a Brisk Walk to Beer that evening.
Group organizer Derek Kaufman had a vision of runners of all abilities getting together for a little exercise, but really focusing on enjoying some of Comox Valley’s finest craft brews.
The group typically attracted under a dozen runners every Tuesday, until August.
“But then it just blew up!” Derek says. “On our first run to Church St. Taphouse, 27 showed up out of the blue. I couldn’t believe it and understandably Church Street couldn’t accommodate a walk-in that size as they just opened, so that night we discovered the Comox Legion, which was fantastic”.
After that, the runs would regularly have 30-50 runners coming out every Tuesday, but as many as 68 have been counted and is going strong throughout all weather conditions this winter. They use a Facebook group to co-ordinate their runs, and it now has over 600 members.
“We have all demographics and abilities showing up. From ultra-marathoners to those who can’t run 5k. People in the early 20s to 80s. Sometimes runners bring their little one in a stroller or run with their dog,” Derek explains. “It’s really just about getting a little exercising, enjoying our local breweries and socializing.”
The group has suggested routes of 5-8k, but Derek stresses that people can run/walk whatever they want. There are no membership fees, no board of directors or meetings – it’s a casual gettogether.
The group rotates between Land & Sea, Church St., New Tradition and the Legion in Comox every Tuesday at 7 p.m. On Wednesdays, you will find them between Ace and Gladstone. They also schedule many “Special Editions” which feature events like racecourse previews, with a social to follow.
For more information, all of their runs are posted in their Facebook Group: Run to Beer Comox Valley.