For most people, running isn't fun -- it's work. But the folks at Jam Active, creators of the Tap 'n' Run, may have finally found the way to make running enjoyable: beer.
Not wheat grass shots, not green-kale-and-something smoothies, just plain, good old-fashioned brewskies.
"Basically, what our company wanted to invent was a race that Americans could run and enjoy," said marketing manager Jessica Thiem. "We thought to ourselves, What do Americans love? And obviously Americans love beer, so we combined the two."
Before the race even starts, the taps are open and pouring (every participant receives one 5-ounce pour).
Positioned throughout the course are two additional "chug stations," where you can guzzle down two additional 5-ounce beers.
The real reward comes when you walk, skip, run or stumble across the finish: a nice, cold 12 ounces of one of the three beers featured at the Bakersfield Tap 'n' Run -- Michelob Ultra, Bud Light and Shock Top.
This may all seem a little counterintuitive, but according to Thiem, it's just part of the fun. Because at the Tap 'n' Run, it's not so much about the calories you burn or beating the competition, but the good time you have getting there.
"This is not your average running race," Thiem said. "It's definitely what would be considered a fun run. We encourage all of our racers to create neat and fun costumes; at our awards ceremony instead of giving out awards for first, second and third place, we give awards for things like best costume, best belcher, drunkest duo -- things like that."
After all the medals (which double as bottle openers) are awarded, the awards ceremony shifts gears and becomes more of an "after party," complete with a DJ, a social media bar, games, prizes and lots of celebratory dancing.
Of course those interested in getting some actual exercise or easing into training for a longer race are more than welcome to simply run the race. Water stations are positioned throughout the race route next to the "chug stations."
"This race is for pretty much anybody," said Thiem.
"It could be for someone that has never ran a race before, and they sign up hoping they can get into running. It's good for people who are active and looking for a fun activity to do in the afternoon, or even someone who's never ran in their life, but loves to be with their friends. It really caters to a wide variety of people, not just your serious runners and nonrunners."