There is a relatively new running club in New West that is unlike any other. Instead of munching on keto bars and gulping down bottles of Kombuchas, they are seen drinking beers after a tiring sprint.
The group meets every Wednesday at Steel & Oak Brewing Co., and begins a sincere run along a set route when the clock strikes 7 p.m.
They run on the overpass near the brewery, along the boardwalk, and all the way to the River Market area. Some turn around when they reach the tall Tin Soldier (running a distance of 3.5 kilometres, some others carry on to the end of Pier Park (and hit the 5 km mark).
But almost all of them come back to the brewery to have a round of beer.
“It [the club] is about the run, but it’s more about the community aspect, and getting together with like-minded people,” said Jordan Brett, an employee at Steel & Oak since 2019, and founder of the club.
People usually just hang around for a couple of beers (the first beer after they get back from the run is half the price), listen to music and chat, he added.
Running club as a community space
Brett started the club in December 2021 to provide a space for people to meet up and get fit. The first run had three people; by the second week, 15 runners showed up. Nowadays, they get an average of 20 people, with some weeks seeing as many as 35.
Being part of a group, he believes, would encourage people to take up running and keep at it. Oftentimes, a running club can come across as a bit “regimented” and can be intimidating, he noted.
Though Brett has been running for 11 years now, he never was part of any running clubs for the same reason. He just didn’t have the confidence to be part of one, he said.
Which is why he wanted to create a space where people felt comfortable to join in, and not be overwhelmed by it. He wants more people to start running.
Because, for Brett, running changed his life — both physically and mentally.
“Obviously, I think the physical attributes of running are pretty obvious, but even mentally, it has been a big thing for me really, like with suffering from depression and issues like that. It's definitely helped as an outlet to deal with those problems.”
Not to mention, the opportunity to be outdoors, in nature, he said.
Running to local breweries
For the last two months, besides the weekly runs, the group has been going on an extra run once a month. For this run through, instead of looping back to Steel & Oak Brewery, the group runs to another local brewery to quaff a pint of beer.
The first month, they hit up Another Beer Co. in Sapperton, and in the second, they ran to Studio Brewing in Burnaby. For their next monthly run, they'll jog to Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby for a swill of IPA.
While the runs sure do burn a ton of calories, how much does chugging a beer add?
“If you are going for a run, probably not that much,” as per Brett.
If you want to be notified about the monthly run details, subscribe to the S&O Run Club monthly newsletter on the Steel & Oak Brewery website, or show up at the brewery (1319, 3rd Ave.) at 7 p.m. tomorrow for the group’s weekly run and get the details from Brett himself.