- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Beer and running are a natural combination, according to avid runners and maybe a few avid beer drinkers.

“The more beer you drink, the more you have to run. The more you run, the more beer you deserve,” according to runner and beer drinker Nate Herrington.

This is why Herrington and his friend and business partner Morgan Jappe have started something called the MN Brewery Running Series.

The concept is simple. Set up a 5-kilometer course that begins and ends at a Twin Cities brewpub or craft brewery.

Your $30 entry fee doesn’t include a T-shirt, a medal or a finishing time.

But you do get a collector’s pint glass, a craft beer, maybe some live music, a sample of offerings from a food truck and a chance to receive a brewery tour.

“We kind of joke that it’s an un-race. You don’t get timed. You don’t get medals. There’s no motivation to finish fast except colder beer,” Jappe said.

Actually, the beer is cold even if you want to walk the 5K. And there’s a soda run option that costs only $15.

Herrington and Jappe, who live in Minneapolis, started a company called Apple Adventure Racing and held one brew run in 2012 and seven of the social runs last summer.

This year, they’ve nearly doubled the options with runs at 13 breweries and pubs throughout the summer.

Jappe said she and Herrington both have day jobs. They share the proceeds from the running series with Bolder Options, a Minneapolis youth mentoring program.

The beer runs are part of a new crop of noncompetitive, 5-kilometer runs that emphasize entertainment over athleticism.

But runners at the brewery series can probably expect a lower-key atmosphere and less enforced merriment than recently popular runs in which you get doused with colored cornstarch or dazzled by a laser show.

“That’s part of our model. We want it to be a very comfortable, casual environment,” Jappe told the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1wC5iRN). “It’s definitely not a serious race environment.”

Instead of shuttling in thousands of participants to a closed venue, the runs cap entries at 60 to 325 runners per location, depending on the capacity of the breweries.

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