Jay Milton, one of the organizers of the inaugural “Run for the Rest of Us race”in Boerne, Tex., wants to make sure of one thing: the air quotes.
Everything about this “race” screams air quotes, in the best ways possible. This event, an affectionate parody of road races everywhere, begins at 11 a.m. Central time Saturday in the town of about 10,000 outside San Antonio and is billed as a 0.5K. Like those air quotes, that decimal is awfully important. This an un-race, a nonevent, a thing for people who like to have a good time and don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s a “race” that will cover 546 yards, running from brewpub to brewpub and, because it’s important to have a sustenance station, there will be a spot to grab coffee, eat a doughnut and maybe smoke a cigarette.
Did we mention free beer? Like, good craft beer and not swill?
The course begins with a free pint at the Dodging Duck Brewhaus at one end of a linear city park in Boerne (pronounced “Bernie”) and ends with another free pint at Cibolo Creek Brewery at the other end. There, organizers write on Facebook, participants can “relive the experience, brag to our friends, compare times, and take selfies to post on social media “I DID IT!!! I AM A FINISHER!!!”
The race is the brainchild of Milton, a 53-year-old owner of a software company, and some friends and Milton freely admitted in an interview with The Post that, “like all great ideas, this one was stolen.” He and his friends were sitting around, thinking of doing a fun fundraiser for charity when he remembered a similar event in Denver, and the idea was born. Or hatched. Or fermented.
“The thing that, from a selfish perspective, is and was so fun was getting together with my friends and coming up with the stupidest, funniest things we could think of,” he said. “It was like, ‘Oh, wait, wait! Gosh, what if we …’ It was so much fun.”
Fun is the whole idea; this is not the race to run if you’re thinking about Boston in 2019. “There’s a lot of us who don’t really have an interest in running a 5K, but think the idea is fun and the community is kind of fun. We just don’t want to put forth the effort,” Milton said with a laugh. “This whole thing is just supposed to be fun.”
The idea took off like a bolt, probably unlike most of the participants in this “race,” and the 225 spots, available for a $25 entry fee, quickly were snapped up. Because the event has gotten a lot of national attention, Milton said they could have had at least 500 entrants “if not 1,000.” That would have stressed the brewpubs, though. Milton and his friends focused on finding a charity that worked locally and settled on Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that supplies weekend meals to children who might otherwise go hungry.
There will also be a VIP entry level. For an extra $25, folks can choose not to run, riding instead in one organizer’s restored 1963 VW bus. That organizer also happens to play the bagpipes and will help kick things off Saturday with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Another organizer, who is a keyboardist, will play the “Chariots of Fire” theme.
And of course there will be participation awards, medals — or “woods,” as Milton says — that are crafted by another organizer. “This is 2018,” Milton said. “Of course, everyone gets a participation trophy because what would their parents think?”
VIPs, of course, get larger medals because, as the race organizers say on Facebook, they “are more important!” As Milton said, “that’s another one of those things that we all laughed the hardest about, being able to buy your way out of doing anything. That’s really 2018.” The “woods” will eventually have a ribbon attached and, as Milton helpfully points out, “you can remove it and turn it into a coaster!”
(These guys think of everything. We suspect they may have done much of their planning at the Dodging Duck or Cibolo Creek or somewhere else along the city’s historic Hill Country Mile, and we salute that.)
Other goodies (we had you at free beer, we know) besides the “wood,” include a T-shirt and a deeply ironic 0.5K oval sticker to proudly affix to your vehicle. The race is being held on Cinco de Mayo, a date that was chosen “as an accident” because it was a good spot on the city’s busy calendar, and “you don’t want to have a race in Texas in the summer,” Milton said. That goes for a “race,” too. There also happens to be a quilting festival that day.
The “race,” organizers say, is going to be an annual event, and its “sanctioning body,” SLACR (the Society for Lazy and Carefree Runners), will have no official timekeeper for it. “If we timed it, then we would have to have ‘winners,’ and because this is 2018, some people might have their self-esteem bruised if they didn’t win,” Milton said. “So without timing, everyone can legitimately claim, ‘I am the winner!’ ”
If you’re feeling a little sad about missing this event, the organizers have included a “Procrastinators Prize Pack,” available until May 10, because “as an underachiever, you probably procrastinated registering for the race and now it’s sold out,” the website says. “Or maybe you live far enough away from Boerne that it would actually take some effort to get here, which would of course defeat the whole purpose of the ‘race’. For the low, low price of just
$1299 $799 $199 $25, you can now pretend like you were a participant. You’ll get the T-shirt, the medal and the pretentious 0.5k oval bumper sticker!”
Read more from The Post: