1st Annual North End Pub Run (Or, Going Out with a Bang)

As I sit here in the midst of my nutrition reset/half-assed quasi-cleanse, deprived of alcohol, fried foods, and refined sugar, I think, “Molly, what better time than to write about last weekend’s pub run?”

My friend S and I decided several weeks ago to plan a pub run around a neighborhood in Tacoma.

S and me.

S and me.

We invited about 70 people through Facebook and others through email and set a course that hit 4 pubs: The Corner Bar (formerly Hank’s), The Red Hot, Doyle’s Public House, and The Parkway Tavern.

pub run capture

Initially the course was longer because I wanted to stop at one of my other favorites, the 1111, but we were concerned that extra distance might dissuade some of our less zealous participants from attending the event. We kept the course relatively flat and a manageable 3 miles.  And we encouraged participants to dress for the occasion:

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We held the event on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, which is probably sacrilegious but we chose the date more for practical purposes than to be disrespectful. We knew most of those invited would be in town for Easter and Passover, so we were more likely to have a good turn-out.

We were right. Although the weather rebelled that day (sideways rain, pouring rain, rain, rain, rain), and some people bowed out as a result, we still had a good showing when we met up at 4:00 p.m. at The Corner Bar, a neighborhood dive-ish pub.

The idea was we would drink a beer at every bar and then run between the stops. I was dubious about how this would turn out, and imagined myself running with beer sloshing around in my stomach and turning green. At The Corner Bar, I passed over a beer in favor of a tropical-flavored Jello shot (we happened to hit the place during its Luau Day promotion): less volume to slosh around in my tummy.

At 4:30, we were off!

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We ran through neighborhoods and the bustling 6th Avenue business district to The Red Hot, famous for its delicious Chicago-style hot dogs and well-curated beer selection. As others downed their second beers, I downed my first, an easy-drinking Pils.

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We recovered hung out at The Red Hot for about a half-hour before retracing our steps down 6th Avenue to Doyle’s, an Irish pub owned by a friend of mine. This leg was about a mile and I experienced no problems beer sloshing in my stomach.

Doyle’s has Tacoma’s best French Dip sandwich (I’m not biased—this is true) and friendly service, and is probably best known in town for being the center of all things Seattle Sounders and World Cup soccer.

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At Doyle’s, I had about half of a beer (uh-oh). We reconnected with non-running friends who were still participating, having walked or driven over from The Corner Bar.

After about a half hour, we were off again, running a short mile-or-so to our last stop, The Parkway Tavern. The Parkway is a favorite neighborhood joint that also draws from across the city because of its diverse beer selection, diet-busting hamburgers, and barley wine festivals.

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Relieved of any further running that day, our group drank and ate and made merry. Perhaps a little too much merry.

I rewarded myself with a burger.

2014-04-19 18.53.25Big surprise.  (Also, this photo proves I have no shame. None.)

I also had some Habañero cider (it was good—really) and my friend T stuck this sticker on me:

Ninkasi Oiselle

Things were getting really crazy, because then we forced my friend’s unicorn to drink beer:


Before you contact PETA, that unicorn is just part of a costume. No real unicorns were harmed at the pub run.

Not only was the pub run a great way to segue into a quasi-cleanse (I like to go out with a bang), it was a ton of fun. Altogether we had about 35 participants—not too shabby for a day with awful weather. And S and I combined two of my favorite things: running and socializing. We gathered together groups of friends who had previously never met. We also convinced some people who aren’t runners to run for this event. Dare I saw we converted some non-runners into runners? One can hope.

We will definitely do another pub run next spring. Next time, we’ll warn the bars before we show up so they’re prepared. This year we were lucky–we hit the pubs at slower times and they were able to accommodate us. But next year I know we’ll have a bigger crowd, and I don’t want to overwhelm or piss off the pubs or their staffs.

Also, next year there will be personalized t-shirts. Sorry—it’s the former sorority girl in me.

Have you ever participated in a pub run or some other social run?

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