Races Appeal to Runners with Celebratory Beer, Music

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Copyright 2017 Journal - Gazette Apr 25, 2017

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette


Celebrating a hard-run race with beer seemed like a good idea to Jamie Delagrange. That's why she capped off her 5K Honor Run with a toast to the runners and veterans by adding a craft beer tent.

Delagrange, executive director of the Honor Run Project, the nonprofit organization that conducts the Honor Run and Brew Jam, says the craft beer tent makes the 5K race unique.

"There is a sense of accomplishment when you finish any race," Delagrange says. "5Ks are a dime a dozen; this makes ours different and unique to the city."

It's just one of many area fitness runs that incorporate alcohol as part of its race. And Fort Wayne-area runners are responding.

This is the second year for the Honor Run, which on June 24 takes runners through downtown Fort Wayne and finishes with the Brew Jam, a party that has live music and craft beer donated by local brewers on the riverbank near Fort Wayne Outfitters. Delagrange is expecting more than 300 participants this year, although people don't have to run the race to enjoy the family-friendly Brew Jam, she says.

"I wanted to involve the community - runners, people who like craft beer, military supporters, people who just wanted to listen to music," she says. "It appeals to many different crowds."

The Honor Run celebrates veterans and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana which pays for veterans to visit Washington, D.C., memorials at no cost.

"For me, I look at these veterans and just think that they literally were boys, went away to fight a war, they came home and never talked about it again," Delagrange says. "It's important to honor them, and Honor Flight is a fabulous organization to give them the thank you they deserved for so long."

Delagrange is not the only one raising a glass to a good workout.

The Michiana Wine Festival, happening Saturday, includes "Night Wine at the Line," a nighttime 5K race through Headwaters Park on Friday. Once the racers are finished, they are treated to a glass of wine. The race, which has close to 200 participants, is sold out.

The festival is the creation of Nichole Thomas, and her two girlfriends, Cristal Reader and Lisa Beber.

Thomas says there are a lot of festivals and events that include wine, but none of them are solely dedicated to wine. The three friends wanted an event that did just that.

Sixteen wineries from across the state, including several locally, will be at the festival. In addition, there will be food trucks, craft vendors and live local music. The cost is only $30.

"Most wine events are fundraisers, but most have a pretty expensive price tag," Thomas says. "We love those events, but we wanted to do something that focuses on wine."

Thomas says the festival is an avenue to have a lot of fun and spend the day drinking wine.

"It's just going to be a fun day," she says, "and even if you don't like wine, come on out to celebrate."

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If you go

What: Honor Run and Brew Jam

When: June 24; 3:30 p.m. registration begins with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. and race at 5:10 p.m.

Where: Fort Wayne Outfitters, 1004 Cass St.

Cost: $29 ages 12 to 20 and $39 for ages 21 and over before June 1

Registration: www.honorrunbrewjam.com

What: Michiana Wine Festival

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Headwaters Park East, 333 S. Clinton St.

Admission: $30 advance, $35 at the door; additional tickets for VIP package and evening concert

Registration: Eventbrite.com


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