Will Run (to Long Ireland) for Beer

If you missed the first ever Long Island Summer Classic 5k hosted by Long Ireland Beer Company, fear not—they will be having another one next month. The second edition of the mostly flat 5K (3.1 miles, not 5,000) will occur on September 2 at 2:00 p.m., beginning and ending at Long Ireland Brewery in Riverhead. Alicia participated in the race last month, along with around 400 other runners. Here is her recap.

If you’re not a runner, skip ahead—this part will probably be boring. But if you’re looking to participate in coming races and like to read about the course, this is for you. Overall there were only a few slight hills, if you could even call them that. On paper it seems like this course would be very conducive to a PR, but there were a few kinks that could be worked out. The loops through the park were on a mix of pavement, grass and gravel which seemed a little precarious and made me slow down a few times. However, I took a fall on an uneven sidewalk a couple years ago (and still have the scar to prove it) so I might be more cautious than most. Also, because it was a loop, the fastest men had to weave to pass the group I was running with and in turn we had to weave to avoid the walkers. Having said that, the race was a ton of fun and there was a really festive energy at the start and finish. Plus, there were a lot of runners participating so there was always someone to keep pace with.

Of course, the most exciting part was the finish line. There was the traditional time clock, announcer and plenty of people cheering for the runners as they came in. I finished, caught my breath for a little longer than I’d like to admit, and jumped on the outdoor beer line. Unlike some races that promise “free beer” at the end and offer one or two sad choices, this was a full tap list. There were at least six options from an IPA to a breakfast stout—I went with the NoFo Farmhouse Ale which was a perfect thirst quencher.

Though the race itself ended around 6:30, the after party went until 8. It was complete with a food truck with options for purchase plus live music—those who still had energy after running turned the parking lot into a dance party. The beer lines got long at certain points but the owners and staff of Long Ireland had it down to a science. I’d be surprised if anyone waited for longer than five minutes.

Runners of all fitness levels participated so you can sign up whether you’re trying to break a 20 minute 5k or just want to walk a few miles and enjoy an afternoon at the brewery. If you can wrangle 19 friends to run the race with you, your team gets a VIP table complete with beers waiting for you when you finish. You can register the day of the race or online here. Happy running (and drinking)!