by Eduardo Gonzalez
A rooster woke me up this morning. It was not the alarm I had set and it was not the hangover I was expecting. It literally was a rooster and by my watch, it was three hours too early! As I stumble out of bed and my rum induced coma slowly dissipated, I began to remember the previous night. I then recalled the fact that, well… I am in Puerto Rico. I head down the stairs looking for my race gear for the day. I am shocked that the humidity is already at 140% (and it is only seven in the morning!) A quick breakfast consisting of majorca and a glass of milk won’t cover all my nutritional needs but who cares, I’m on vacation right ?! I’m certain all of the calories of deliciousness I took in last night will carry over to today.
The plan was to travel across the island of Puerto Rico to Aguadilla. Aguadilla is known for two things; surfing and retired-English speaking-military personnel from what was once Ramey Air Force Base. Ramey Air Force Base use to be one of the most important air bases during the Cold War.(B-52 of the Strategic Air Command 72d Bombardment Wing). Aside from that, the town has been known to host a variety of outdoor running and fitness events.
My travels brought me here for 5k Beerfest, a small but well organized themed run in the coastal and downtown area of Aguadilla. Produced by Be Active Sports, the 5k Beerfest consisted of a 5k run through the street of Aguadilla with oases that offered beer in addition to water. Be Active Sports is among the leading companies for fitness events in the island. In addition to the 5k Beerfest, they organize the 5k Boot Camp and 5k Beach Challenge and one of the largest obstacle races in Puerto Rico, The Survivor Race. Naturally with such variety in event planning, the MudRunFun crowd would be interested.
The race began at Punto Azul, a local establishment that serves the best mojitos in the area (perhaps even across the whole island). This ocean front property allowed the 350 participants to enjoy from a great assortment of tapas and drinks. The Beerfest 5k was no “I’ll give you some cheap beer” sort of event. Craft beers for everyone from the start until the finish line. Honestly, the event felt a lot like a brewery tour.
After a slightly delayed start, caused by expected afternoon traffic, the runners went off on their scenic urban course. There was a great mix of typical fast runners, average runners, slow runners and then me and my fellow MudRunFun runners. We basically acted as the sweepers for the race. In this event, those in the back of the pack were treated like royalty. We even had cops and ambulance escorting us. Just kidding, they were following behind, desperate for us to hurry up and finish. The beer was ridiculously good though, we had to savor it! Our first oasis came at the mile marker. The beer of choice: UFO White, a light, crisp and refreshing American White Ale, perfect for the beginning of the race. With 11 IBU and 4.8% alcohol, this beer got us going. Our 10+ group of MudRunFun runners enjoyed a few cups of it and kept running. The beer wasn’t the only memorable thing about the event. Throughout the route, we took pictures of awesome colonial Spanish architecture, the beach, fellow runners, and of course, just us doing silly things.
At mile marker 2, we arrived to our second “tasting station”. Anchor’s Mango Wheat, a 4.5% alcohol fruit beer with the same qualities as the previous beer: light, crisp and refreshing. Our usual strategy of taking it easy paid off and we enjoyed our time with the hard working volunteers of Be Active Sports. Creating more smiles and laughs will leave a more memorable experience than just rushing through everything as quickly as possible.
The finish line was back at Punto Azul. After a few deviations to our route (in which we took pictures at the beach) the finish line awaited us with 312 Urban Wheat Ale by Goose Island Beer Co. This American Pale Wheat Ale came in at 18 IBU and 4.2% alcohol. Little bit low on the alcohol level but the world’s best mojito more than made up for it. At the finish line, the Goose Island beer was given in a specialty mug with 5k Beerfest logos on it. Additional swag included a tech shirt and a finisher’s medal.
The rest of the night was spent partying with the remaining crowd that included team members from Luxury Fitness, Los Bacalaos y los Superhéroes de Buchanan. After a few drinks with the race director and the MudRunFun crowd, I drove back to the Metro Area through a storm. I knew that in a few hours I would get back on the road and head to Dorado to complete the the Reflex Extreme Challenge, but the time spent hanging out was worth every second.