Every Tuesday at Brian O'Neill's Pub
BON Run! Houston running club makes training for a half-marathon fun
BON Running Club's reputation preceded it.
Last winter, before I knew that I would soon call Houston home, I trained for a half-marathon along with a few friends. We all lived in different parts of the state, and though we met up for long weekend runs when convenient, we mostly tracked one another's schedule adherence and training progress online with DailyMile.
Nearly every Tuesday, I noticed that my Houston friends wrote "BON Run!" as their course. In the 'notes' section of each workout log, they indicated their satisfaction with a gigantic smiley face. And there was always mention of beer.
I had to know what this was all about.
Nearly every Tuesday, I noticed that my Houston friends wrote "BON Run!" as their course. In the 'notes' section of each workout log, they indicated their satisfaction with a gigantic smiley face. And there was always mention of beer. I had to know what this was all about.
BON Running Club is a group that meets every Tuesday, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., at Brian O'Neill's Pub for a 5k run, followed by dinner and drinks with other members. Membership is gratis, and the group is comprised of serious running enthusiasts alongside not-so-serious joggers.
My first BON Run was last Tuesday, when the high temperature was a record 102 degrees. My friends and I parked near Rice Village and walked down the street to the pub - a typical Irish dive that, at first glance, does not appear to be a haven for runners. (Beer and exercise don't logically go hand-in-hand, although I've read studies that prove otherwise.)
We signed up on a laptop set up outside of the entrance, had a sip of water from the cooler, and embarked upon an at-our-own-pace 5k run.
The route takes you around the Rice University campus on a narrow gravel track, with tree roots jutting into the pedestrian pathway which, combined with other joggers and baby strollers approaching headlong, required lots of dodging. But somehow, it was really pleasant - seeing other people exercising (or suffering) while I'm exercising (or suffering) always positively affects my outlook.
At the end of the run, we returned to Brian O'Neill's for a few beers and a complimentary dinner of salad and pasta.
The benefits of the running club are really unbeatable. It's free to join. Each runner (or walker) can go at his or her own pace, or join a small, organized group run at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. Dinner is free, the drink specials are great, and the company is cheerfully flushed... if a little smelly.
And the more you go, the greater the perks: After 10 runs, you receive a free T-shirt, which grants you a free post-run brew each Tuesday. After 20 runs, discounted massages. And so on - until you reach 100 runs, and you receive a $100 gift certificate to Brian O'Neill's Pub.
I'll be going back.