It wasn’t until recently as I ran down Market St. towards City Hall and a packed double-decker tour bus cheered our group on as if we were fulfilling some sort of Rocky fantasy, that  my pride to be a part of the Fishtown Beer Runners really set in.
Beer Runners at the Perch Pub, April, 2011.
It all started back in January of 2010 when I was visiting the newest residents of Fishtown; my newborn twin niece and nephew, Gia & Joey.  As they slept, I began to thumb through the latest edition of the neighborhood newspapers, the Star and the Spirit, to catch up on happenings, beings that I now call the suburbs home.
I turned the page to see a cartoon of a beer bottle with legs running and the tag line: Fishtown Beer Runners. I initially thought that it was an advertisement for a beer distributor delivery service and reminisced on my teenage years in Port Richmond when we needed “a runner” to go get us a six pack (sorry Mom & Dad).
I came to learn that the group had discovered the answer to my Thursday evening internal conflict, to go to happy hour or to put in time at the gym.  Because it was a cold, snowy winter, I never in a million years considered running outside. Who in their right mind runs outside in January & February?!?!  Apparently, only a die-hard Beer Runner!
A cold snowy run.

It wasn’t until the following summer that I was introduced to my first member of the group, Ed Bond, through my sister – his neighbor. At that time I had recently completed my 1st 5k and I had experienced what they mean by ‘runners high’ and knew that running was my new favorite workout.

Greg, Wendy, Eric and Josh
The evening of my first run, I made the trip down to the city from the suburbs after work. Nervous and unsure of what I was getting myself into, I met up with the group on Susquehanna and as I looked around I saw people that looked like track-stars wearing funny looking toe-shoes and spandex. I was about to get left in the dust!
As we set off to Philly Pub & Grub in Fairmount, I held my own, running side by side with one of my now good friends, Erin Browning, who I had just met that evening. Upon arriving at the bar, the group was fantastically friendly and welcoming. David April worked the crowd taking genuine interest in meeting new runners and catching up with veterans; but it wasn’t until his official toast “To The Professor!” that I got butterflies.
A cold one.
The Fishtown Beer Runners have really put running back on the map and made it trendy. There is no membership, no judgment, and no matter your pace; no one gets left behind.  All it takes is determination, a pair of sneakers, and you’re on your way.
We stick together both on and off the course; encouraging one another to sign up for races and test ourselves to new levels, attending each others community events, getting together for dinner, bbq’s, birthdays etc. There has even been a love connection with in the group and there is a wedding planned for this Spring!
Now, almost a year after that first night, beer running as become apart of my routine. I look forward to Thursday evenings, running through the streets of a city I have a love affair with, checking out a new bar, catching up with friends and making new ones.
I hope that the Fishtown Beer Runners will be around for a long time to come. I can just imagine 25 years from now; my kids lacing up their sneaks and crowding outside Old Man April’s house and him coming out telling them to get the hell off his step and start running!!!

— Angela Pandaleno