Sweat for Suds, Part III: Irish Snug Running Club

We’re back with another installment of the “Sweat for Suds” series, where the athletic drunk can find kindred souls. There are many bars hosting running clubs in Denver and they all have their unique identities but, in terms of sheer size, there is one club that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Name: Irish Snug Running Club

Venue: The Irish Snug (Under the Snug, to be precise)

Time: There are two runs every Thursday. One leaves at 6:15, the other 6:30. In actuality, participants essentially go whenever they want between 6:00 and 6:30; it’s a constant trickle.

Course Length: 5 K/3.1 Mi.

Course Directions: From The Irish Snug, run north on Marion St., turn right on 16th Ave., and then right on Park Ave. Take Franklin St. south until you reach Cheesman Park. Run the entire length of the park’s western border and turn left at 8th Ave. Run the entire length of the park’s southern border and keep going until you hit York St., where you’ll turn left. Run past the Denver Botanic Gardens and turn left on 11th Ave. Make a right on Race St., a left on 13th Ave., and a right on Franklin St. A left on Park Ave, a left on 16th Ave, and a left on Marion St. will get you back to The Irish Snug.

Post-race stretching outside Under the Snug


Difficulty of Course: Moderate. The course is mostly flat, but some shallow yet sustained uphill sections can be found on 8th Ave. and York St.

Cheatability of Course: Low. It’s not a perfect square but it’s pretty close, thus there are no out-and-back sections that can be cut off. I guess you can round-off the corners but it’s hardly worth it. Just run through the pain and do the whole course.

Size of Group: The Irish Snug Running Club boasts 7,000 members and, on average, 100+ of them will show up for the weekly run. On a day with crappy weather the numbers may shrink to as low as 10 or 12, but on a good day the club pushes 400. Because of the staggered start times, it was hard for me to get a bead on how many people were running when I visited; not everybody was in the same place at the same time. An educated guess would put the number between 50 and 100.

Competitiveness of Group: Depends. There are a lot of people participating and some of them run like their asses are on fire and others take a more leisurely approach. With a group of this size, the odds are there will be at least one other person running at your pace.

Dog Friendliness: The club’s official stance: “We all love dogs (I think) and if you must run with yours, you have to pick up after it.” The inclusion of the word “must” makes it seems as though the club begrudgingly accepts your canine friend. In all my years of visiting The Irish Snug I’ve never seen a dog inside so, although Fido’s welcome on the run, I don’t think he’s welcome in the bar.

After-Race Goodies: Runners are treated to a bowl of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.  There are also $3 specials on Guinness, Miller Lite, Naked Tinker Ale, and 5 Lamps Lager.  Car Bombs go on special after 8PM. If you’ve yet to earn your official club t-shirt (which you get after 10 runs), then prove you deserve those specials with your smelly armpits and sweat-streaked face.

Drink Selection: It’s an Irish bar so of course they have Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, and others of that sort. They also have the major U.S. and foreign brands, as well as a smattering of Colorado and American crafts. So basically, a little bit of everything. Something from the Winter Warmers section might also be a good way to warm your bones after a chilly run.

To read the previous installment of “Sweat for Suds,” click here.

About Chris Bruns

Chris Bruns is a self-professed beer geek living in Denver. Chris spends much of his time brewing beer at home with friends and family, attempting to visit every brewery in Colorado, attending special beer events and festivals, purchasing and assessing the latest releases from local breweries, and blogging about his adventures in the world of craft beer. He is also the Denver Craft Beer Examiner on Examiner.com. Contact Chris by e-mail at chrisdbruns@gmail.com or through his blog at www.beerincolorado.blogspot.com.