A running club that involves a 5 or 10k run followed by a free beer, all before lunch? Welcome to the Mikkeller Running Club.

What is Beer Running Club

Mikkeller Running Club, aka Beer Running Club, is an informal running club with numerous chapters around the world. Started by Danish brewer Mikkeller, each chapter is hosted by bottle shops and pubs across the globe. The aim of the club is to be informal and social with runners choosing to run either a 5 or 10k at their own pace. Post-run it’s back to the bottle shop or pub for a beer. 

The chapter I belong to is based at The Bottle Shop in Cardiff and involves running either one or two laps around the scenic Roath Lake.

My Last Beer Running Club

May 5th 2018 was the last time I attempted the running club and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I was a few months into a Crohn’s flare up but I was determined to give it a try in attempt to keep doing what I enjoyed. I planned on running 5k which was a single loop around Roath Lake but just a mile-and-a-half into the run I desperately needed to go to the toilet. That meant a long, awkward walk back to the start where I knew there was a community centre that had toilets. I spent the whole mile trying to keep everything in and barely succeeding. 

The last unsuccessful Beer Running Club

Being Questioned About Using An Accessible Toilet

When I finally made it to the community centre, the accessible toilet had a lock which couldn’t be opened with a radar key. Sure I could use the regular toilets but when things get messy (and bloody), you really need access to a sink to clean up. I think I was questioned because I was still in my running gear and thankfully this was the only time that I’ve been asked.

I made it back to enjoy my beer, even if I hadn’t completed the distance, and it was around that time that it was best to stop going until everything had been sorted. 

The Return

April 6th 2019 and it was almost 12 weeks since my surgery and I had a few weeks of running in the bag (not literally!) so I felt prepared to give it a go again. I was unsure of which distance I would run so the plan was to get out and run one lap and if everything was feeling good I’d attempt a second. Based on recent runs I was hoping that I would be able to achieve the full 10k.

Venting Off Some Gas

On the way to Cardiff from Newport my bag had been ballooning slightly due to wind (really need to sort out the ballooning) so rather than changing the bag I opted to peel bag the adhesive to vent a bit of the gas. I’ve found that I’m able to peel it back, squeeze out some gas (which does not smell great!) and re-stick it. It’s not ideal but does work. There was a good chance that the bag would start to balloon whilst running but the tight support belt would probably do a good job of keeping it in check. 

The Run

There was a good turnout with 16 runners eager to earn their beers. Due to my lack of fitness the initial part of the run was a shock to the system but it soon started to feel good. As this is a social run, quite often people end up running together talking about beer and running so when I spent most of the first 5k catching up with the club captain we both decided to keep on going for another lap. 

For the most part, I completely forgot about the bag but periodic checks revealed that there was some gas inside it as well as some poop which wasn’t causing any issues and compared to my last run in 2018, it was great not having to worry about going to the toilet, I could just poop and run!

It was great not having to worry about going to the toilet, I could just poop and run!

The 10k was done and dusted in 54 minutes and I was so glad that I had it in me to complete the full distance. And with the run finished it was time for the free beer…and more! 

What’s Next?

Hopefully the next Beer Running Club in May will feature the club’s first Beer Mile which will be a great test for the bag!

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life.

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