A Match Made in Heaven: Craft Beer and Running

The pairing was so obvious, so natural that we couldn’t resist. The Craft Classic Half Marathon & 5K Race Series is the intersection of running and craft beer – a match that became irresistible as the popularity in both has soared over the past several years. Runners have always loved the challenge of training for and completing a race and then indulging in their favorite post-run treat. With a mouth-watering array of beer styles now readily available everywhere, craft beer has become the reward of choice for running accomplishments.


Road Runner Sports calls San Diego home and our team will argue that it’s the best beer city in the land with more than 130 breweries in San Diego County. But our travels to our stores across the country have shown us first-hand that this running and beer phenomenon is not limited to Southern California. When we decided to create a race series, we knew we needed to do more than just have a basic beer garden at the end. We wanted this to be the theme of our events – something that allowed runners to embrace their passion for both running and craft beer equally.

That goal was achieved last year as several thousand runners across three cities covered our scenic Craft Classic race courses, crossed the finish line, enjoyed delicious craft beer and let us know that they overwhelming approved of the event. As we enter year two, we have kept the same key elements in place: beautiful and unique race courses, high-quality event production and fun post-race parties with great local breweries.

Craft Classic kicks off in San Diego again this year on July 16 with Green Flash Brewing, then heads to Atlanta on September 9th to clink pint glasses with Monday Night Brewing. Next, we head up north to mighty craft beer country in Seattle for a September 10 event with Redhook Brewery before finishing down in Phoenix on October 15 with Huss Brewing and the breathtaking views of Fountain Hills.


Aside from the quality of the race and a free beer waiting at the finish line, we wanted to make sure that runners appreciated the value they get for their registration fee with some perks that not all races offer.

Participants in both the half marathon and 5K races receive the signature race ‘On A Beer Run’ soft cotton shirt or tank top, a commemorative beer glass and high-quality race medal, plus free race photos and live athlete tracking. Additionally, participants are given a special discount on running gear during the two-day expo at Road Runner Sports.

For the competitive crowd the prizes are just as exciting, including the granddaddy of all race prizes for the male and female half marathon winners, who win their weight in beer! Top runners in both the half marathon and 5K receive prizes from Road Runner Sports and age group awards will be handed out to more than 150 competitors between the two races.

For the nitty gritty on each Craft Classic event, head to CraftClassic.com. Registration is open for all four races!