Morgan Jones | The city of brotherly brew
Nuggets of Wisdom | Do you know what a pub run is? Well you should — it’s exactly what Philly needs
March 15, 2013, 12:02 am·
Nuggets of Wisdom
We — Philadelphia — have everything. Well, almost everything. We have the waterfront, the poster-perfect skyline and Rittenhouse Square, Boathouse Row and soft pretzels, the Eagles and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
But you know what we don’t have? A weekly pub run.
And do you know what would make Philadelphia an even greater city? A weekly pub run.
On Tuesday evenings in Colorado Springs, my dad and I used to join approximately 1,000 others for a 5K pub run downtown.
We would arrive at Jack Quinn’s Irish pub around 6 p.m., run through a gamut of stretches (touching our toes) and lightly jog from the corner of Tejon and Nevada. We would fall in among the kids who ran track, the crowd who just got off work and the moms pushing strollers.
At this point, we are doing all right.
Then, legs and lungs begin to burn. I wonder if Colorado air has always been this thin. Sweat spots the back of my dad’s shirt and gradually our bodies cave toward our legs, which are now filled with lead. I am certain the ability to run somehow missed my entire genetic line. But thankfully, the love of beer did not.
The promise of a nice cold draft at our end point, Jack Quinn’s, drives us through this 3.1-mile loop — that and the crowd of 1,000 fellow runners — and the fact that every Tuesday, come rain or come shine, this is what we do. We have forged ourselves into this community, and we are not giving up now, or so I tell my lungs.
If Philly is missing anything, it is a constant hum of life in the streets, outside of office buildings and restaurants. A pub run would literally bring people to the pavement, and the cityscape is also conducive to such an event: relatively flat, formed by easy-to-measure blocks and centrally located. It is just begging for a pub run. And what better way is there to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
The pub run, furthermore, does not discriminate. On the contrary, it welcomes all ages and fitness levels — from individuals and families to co-workers and teams. There are also jugs of water for the too young, too old and too-conscious-of-just-having-burned-off-a-beer crowd.
I have run it with my 11-year-old sister, my high school friends and my 60-something-year-old gym teacher. I’ve never run it as a first date, but I’m not saying it hasn’t been done. I’m not saying I would object, either.
Another bonus: regular and positive physical activity such as a weekly run would keep off those extra Tastykakes. Beyond the health benefits and camaraderie is the sense of self-accomplishment and genuine satisfaction only a weekly pub run can produce (more like a triple bonus).
After completing his tenth 5K, my dad received his free “Jack Quinn’s Running Club” T-shirt, characterized by a red-haired Irishman in all green chasing a beer on a stick. He walked to the front of the room and shook the man’s hand as if he had just won a million dollars. A couple dozen people — strangers — cheered, and my dad enjoyed his complimentary brew reminiscing about the run with people he had just met.
I find it apparent that this 5K-turned-social-event, in addition to strengthening the sense of community, is in fact, fun. The run does end at a pub, after all.
Since coming to Penn, I only run Jack Quinn’s with my dad when I’m home on breaks. It is, however, a tradition that I hold not only within my family but also with the city of Colorado Springs.
Philadelphia’s founding of a Jack Quinn’s-esque event, a weekly pub run, would be a small solution to reaching residents and gathering us in the spirit of brotherly love and brew. Such an occasion would keep Philly vibrant, current and fit. It would also foster a community by promoting active lifestyles and social interactions, and propel Philly one step closer to being a truly great city.
Philadelphia, every week we run to the bars. How about we do it together?
Morgan Jones is a College junior from Colorado Springs, Co. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or send her a tweet @morganjo_. “Nuggets of Wisdom” appears every Thursday.