The Venn diagram of “Denver Beer Lovers” and “Denver Runners” overlaps so much that, too the naked eye, it appears as one circle. Perhaps that’s the reason why there are so many Denver bars hosting running clubs. If you exercise and drink beer—if you counteract your workout with a few pints—then let the “Sweat for Suds” series be your guide.
Name: HTB Run Club
Venue: Highland Tap and Burger
Time: Wednesdays at 6:30. Arrive at 6:15 to sign waivers and memorize the course.
Course Length: During the winter months, everybody runs a 4 mile course. In summer months, you have options as to how far you want to run. Keep appraised of when those options arise on the club’s Facebook page.
Course Directions: From Highland Tap and Burger, run east down 32nd Ave., turn right on Tejon St., and curve onto 16th St. Cross the Highlands Pedestrian Bridge, run straight until you cross the Platte River Pedestrian Bridge, and take the right-hand path around Commons Park and turn right on Little Raven St. Take a left on 15th St. and run to Wazee St. where you’ll turn left. Run all the way to Coors Field and turn left on 20th St. Cross over I-25, make your way to Osage St., and immediately turn left on 33rd Ave. Take a left at Clay St., a left at 32nd Ave., and you’ll presently find yourself at Highland Tap and Burger.
Difficulty of Course: Moderate to high. The start of the course has you going downhill from the Highlands to LoDo so that part is easygoing. Then, the course flattens out so that’s pretty easy, too. But, you do have to make up that initial downhill with a long, sustained uphill from Coors Field to the end of the course.
Cheatability of Course: Low. There are very few out-and-back sections; it’s one, sprawling polygon of a course. If you cut any corners you cut about one-third to a half of the course and, if you’re going to cheat that much, you might as well not run at all.
Size of Group: I counted somewhere in the mid to high 40’s. The club website claims they have about 50 participants per run.
Competitiveness of Group: Moderate. The people in front of me pulled away so far that, by the end, I had lost sight of them. Granted, I was running at a very relaxed pace.
Dog Friendliness: I didn’t see any dogs on the run or at Highland Tap and Burger so I’m assuming the dog friendliness factor is low.
After-Race Goodies: Pasta, salad, and garlic bread await hungry, post-race runners. Also, since Avery Brewing Company is a club sponsor, runners receive 20% off any Avery beer.
Drink Selection: Not feeling an Avery beer? No worries. Highland Tap and Burger is locally famous for its wide selection of Colorado-centric craft beers plus a few out-of-staters and imports.
Miscellaneous: HTB Run Club has several different sponsors and, throughout the year, these sponsors give out prizes to Run Club participants. Show up enough times and you’ll probably go home with a few goodies.