As with all epic footraces, Beer and Back Again's origins lie in a weird place- a sand volleyball court, inside a brewery, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As with all fantastic journeys, it started with a single sentence: "Wouldn't it be cool to do a relay race between some of the breweries down here?"
And as with all incredible occasions, it developed over a half-joking, half-serious Facebook messages between friends: "Wouldn't it be cool if we did a closed loop?" "IF we were planning it, I'd definitely want to see team bibs..." "LOL but really, do you think the breweries would go for it? I'm just going to ask them, just out of curiosity."
The next thing you know, the meetings at breweries are with their event coordinators. The musings turn from, 'Wouldn't it be cool?" to "Where's the aid station going to be?" The Facebook messages become, "What do you think of this race logo? Will it work for the registration page?"
In a way, we created a race by accident. The questions got less hypothetical, the dreaming got more concrete, and suddenly, we had "Beer and Back Again 2019". What never changed was the life force behind it.
Beer and Back Again has a simple premise: a team of adults run in a circle to local breweries and consume a pint at each location. For the first race, our participating breweries including Cabin Boys, Nothing's Left Brewing Company, Dead Armadillo Brewing and Heirloom Rustic Ales. Shockingly, all of the breweries were very on board with opening early to have sweaty, over-eager racers crowd their bartenders on a Saturday morning. Responses from the breweries' coordinators included, "This all sounds awesome," "This is perfect", and "I love it when it's wild in the tap room!"
The next challenge was how to keep the runners safe while also requiring them to drink five pints in five kilometers. Teams seemed like the easiest solution, but a relay-style setup was quickly discarded. It would just be more fun to have your teammates cheering you on as you down a pint, plus there was the added bonus of having your mostly-sober teammates to keep your tipsy butt out of the roadways.
Finally, the last hurdle was keeping the race simple and easy to pull off. No timers and no chips, it was decided. Bibs would be decorated a la craft table before start time, so the teams could have a unifying feature. T-shirts would feature the map of the race, and the volunteers would be allowed to drink at their stations.
This race started out casually, between friends, over beer, and now is a casual race between friends about beer.
Registration for Beer and Back Again 2019 is now open! The entry price includes a $7 beer for the race (plus tip for the brave bartenders!) and a t-shirt. Volunteers get a beer and are stationed in the AC at one of the breweries, and we are still looking for volunteers!