Will Run for Beer
So the folks at the office talked you into signing up for your first trail race, and now it’s mile thirty. (Okay, it’s mile five. You obviously signed up for the 12k.) Still, the roots and rocks are real and so is that big hill. So what motivates the mind to push the body to such limits? Maybe, beer. The two fit together like, well, hops and barley. Once the endorphins wear off, trail running hurts. So thoughts of cold craft beer and warm camaraderie waiting at the finish can pull a trail runner through many a masochistic moment.
Nowhere does this happy union come together more deliciously than the Music City Trail Ultra on March 14. Sponsored by Nashville-based Jackalope Beer, the Music City Trail Ultra – (a 12K, 25K, or 50K, plus 2 mile trail race for kids)– takes place to the delight of hundreds each March in the twenty thousand acre forest of the Cheatham Wildlife Reserve. Regardless of the race one runs, there will be plenty of opportunity to develop a healthy thirst among the park's steep trails and stunning ridgeline views. As race director John Hardin says, "to me, beer is similar to Pavlov's Dog experiment. It is the ringing bell of reward to those who have endured." Although Hardin also adds this cautionary note: "Drinking before running just doesn't work – trust me; I have tried."
For this year's event, Jackalope is providing two of its finely crafted beers as motivation magnets, Bearwalker and Rompo. The former, playfully nicknamed a “breakfast beer” as it contains pure maple syrup, is a maple brown ale with a slightly sweet finish. The latter, a red rye ale, exudes chocolate notes with just a hint of rye spice at the finish. Mmmmm, good. As Bailey Spaulding, CEO of Jackalope Brewing Company, points out, “Rompo appeals to a wide variety of palates because it is complex but subtle and easy to drink.” As for why Jackalope sponsors the Music City Ultra, that's a no-brainer. “John's events,” according to Bailey, “attract fun-loving, adventurous folks who are often also big craft beer fans. It's great to see a lot of the same people every year at the events. It becomes like a reunion.” For those of you who miss this year's reunion with craft beer and trail running, you can always recreate the experience by hitting the closest woods to work up a thirst and then heading over to Jackalope's taproom, open Thursday – Sunday, where you will find awesome people and eight to sixteen different beers on draft. No cajoling required for that.
Music City Trail Ultra 12K, 25K, 50K
March 14 2150 Sams Creek Road
Pegram, TN 37143