Run to Beer Comox Valley celebrated its first birthday recently. The group has more than 600 members. Photo supplied

Run to Beer Comox Valley celebrates first birthday

Running group has exploded in popularity in its first year

  • Mar. 11, 2020 11:30 a.m.

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.

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