It was a blustery January night when I, a recent Philadelphia transplant, made my way to Fishtown for my first run with the Fishtown Beer Runners. Expecting to wander into just any old running club, I was pleasantly surprised to be instantly thrust into the company of interesting people who seemed to share an unusual sense of camaraderie. It was clear that this group was different from the very start when a newbie (me) was so warmly welcomed upon arrival at the starting point. While good beer, scenic jogs, and unique bars all add to the appeal of the FBR, what makes this group extraordinary is the runners themselves.
My career requires me to relocate often and I relish the opportunity to become involved in the community I land in. In the short time I’ve been running with this group, I’ve made loads of new friends (and not just the facebook variety, but real friends who I actually hang out with). More importantly, I’ve also been initiated into a community of people of action who take pride in their city. You’d be hard pressed to find a more inviting, genuine group of people with such an obvious passion for life as the FBR.
Any group is of course equal only to the sum of its members, and altruism and community involvement are the standard here. To cite just a few examples there’s the T-shirt and shoe drive to benefit children in Uganda. Then there’s the thousands of dollars raised by several members for “Back on My Feet”; an organization that provides encouragement and instills confidence in homeless individuals. Members also inject themselves into community art projects, food co-ops, various charities and a number of other worthy social causes. And not the least impressive is the upcoming Root Beer Run to promote exercise and healthy habits among Philly’s youth. The First Lady would be proud.
This diverse crowd embodies the characteristics of community, acceptance and involvement that make Philadelphia great. Of the half dozen cities I’ve lived in over the past decade, Philadelphia is my favorite, and I’ve got to admit that’s largely because I view this city through Fishtown Beer Runner goggles. So, if you are new to Philly, new to running, or just want to expand your social circle with a group of genuinely impressive people, lace up your running shoes and meet us on Susquehanna Ave. at 7 on any Thursday night.
— Travis Thronell