This year’s Dogfish Dash was bigger than ever – more than 1000 runners descended upon Milton, DE for the race (and for the free food and drink afterward). I was taking part for the third consecutive year, and had a great time once again (placing 277 out of 537 in the 10K run – reasonably solidly mid-pack – and 22 out of 66 in my division was a decent number as well). This was the second time the race course toured ‘downtown’ Milton, and there were even more locals out to cheer runners on this year. As another bonus, the route affords a fine opportunity to explore the town’s historic architecture, beginning and ending with the thoroughly modern brewery, and taking in everything from 18th century storehouses to Victorian Masonic halls along the way. The Dogfish Dash raised $26,000 for the Nature Conservancy – it was another successful Beer and Benevolence event.
The brewery seems to grow with each installment – this year, the new entrance, massive fermentation tanks and the Steampunk Treehouse were among the novel attractions. The store and tasting room finally seem to have enough room (for now), and while the brewery tour was somewhat abbreviated compared to years past (presumably a function of both the large crowds and the ongoing construction), a good time was had by all.
One of the best features of the race is the planning that goes into the pre- and post-race fun – race packet pickup the day before keeps the brewpub full (your packet includes a coupon for a meal – and it seems to fill the place up earlier and earlier each year around pickup time), and it’s an ideal opportunity to sample some brewpub-only rarities – the latest incarnation of Chicha was very interesting indeed (look for a review later). And there’s no cutting corners on the beer on tap after the race – yes, there’s Lawnmower Light for those who aren’t looking for a 7%ish beer at 8.30 am, but it’s lovely to rehydrate with a 60 Min IPA, Indian Brown Ale and/or Punkin Ale as well; the addition of the seasonal beer was particularly welcome.
What could be a better motivation to run than knowing there’s a Punkin Ale waiting for you at the finish?