The Ottawa Marathon is coming May 28, 2017. It’s already one of the best events in the world, but this year, in honour of the country’s 150th birthday, it’s getting better: the beer tent is jam-packed with Beau’s Beer. Beaus, which is 100% organic and brewed about 100 kilometres from Ottawa in Vankleek Hill, will be on-site and engaged in the festivities, celebrating with all runners. Thirsty for more information, and excited about their fourth year involved with the program, we spoke with Beau’s CEO Steve Beauchesne.
iRun: Steve, you run, some, but it’s your sister who’s the runner in the family, right?
Steve Beauchesne: My sister is definitely way more into it than I am; I do run a fair bit, but I tend to be more of a road cyclist. But I do enjoy running—I think I’m at the 5k level, but beyond that my knees start to go out of me.
iRun: That sucks because it’s so beautiful where you live and the Ottawa Marathon is such a fun event.
SB: I know, but I have Osgoode-Schlatter disease, which is something you get as a kid going through growth spurts and never leaves you. But it’s not like if I run I might end up in a wheelchair, I’ll just be sore for a few days.
iRun: That happens to all of us! Hey, how long have you been aware of the Ottawa Marathon?
SB: This is our fourth year being involved and we always like community-building events and certainly support like-minded people getting together and doing something they love.
iRun: Like running a great run and then enjoying a great beer.
SB: That’s right, and we’re also working with the Marathon to do more. There is a Beau’s beer garden near the finish line—it can be a little hard to find after you navigate your way through the maze of bananas and bagels, but it’s worth seeking out. There are bands playing and a great vibe, especially after the 5K and 10K events wrap up on the Saturday.
iRun: And why is it a good event for a beer brand?
SB: I think the idea of a recovery drink has hit a lot of people’s consciousness and I find the connoisseurs of craft beer are almost a similar kind of person as a runner, someone that’s health conscious and tends to focus on long-term health as opposed to: ‘I’m going to be healthy for a weekend and then go back to destroying my body.’
iRun:I like the idea of beer as a recovery drink.
SB: I’m going to suggest that while milk might be more nutritious, it’s not nearly as rewarding as a really good beer after a run.
iRun: And your involvement with running goes further than the Ottawa Marathon; you also sponsor the great Canadian beer runner Lewis Kent?
SB: He’s a good guy and that relationship happened naturally, my sister’s into running and saw something he posted on our beer and we reached out to him; next thing you know, we’re sponsoring him!
iRun: Can you drink Beau’s in a Beer Mile?
SB: Nah. He’s looking for something as light and watery as possible. He saves our beer for when he’s done.
iRun: All this beer and running talk makes me curious. I understand you have a knee problem. But I also understand that if it’s properly monitored, it could be something you could work with.
SB: I think I know where this is going and really, it’s my sister that’s the family runner. Ever since she ran her first 5K at Ottawa Race Weekend in 2015, she’s fallen in love with running and now she’s going four times a week and she’s the kid who used to pull out her asthma puffer as soon as someone mentioned the word “sports” in school.
iRun: That must inspire you.
SB: Yeah, I get to see the positive benefits that her training has been for her and I know I can probably stand to do some of this, too.
iRun: I’d like to make a proposition for you.
SB: Listen, I’m more of a cyclist. I don’t really run.
iRun: But what if we trained you? What if your sister and I worked out a plan and promised to work with you from now until the Ottawa Marathon. You think you could be up for the half?
SB: I know I have to get over that preconceived notion of Why the hell would I want to just run and get to that wonderful feeling afterwards. . .
iRun: Come on, it’ll be fun. It’s 2017. Race Weekend is four months away and you’ve already done a 5K and you’re sponsoring the race. Please run the half marathon with me?
SB: For me to crack that beer afterwards, and get that sense of almost euphoric relaxation that hits after you finish, and get that adrenaline rush and all the endorphins then on top of that you have this awesome beer that’s replenishing the liquid you lost and makes you feel great?
iRun: Yeah, for that. Let’s do it! Let’s train.
SB: OK, I’m in. Can I bring along a few friends from the brewery to train with me?
iRun: Absolutely, the more the merrier!
SB: OK, great. Let’s do it. Where do we start?
iRun will be training Steve Beauchesne for his first half marathon from now until race day and we encourage you to join along with us. Steve will be sharing his progress—and offering readers the occasional beer—and every Sunday we’ll be updating his program on iRun.ca. See you in Ottawa everyone. We’ll meet you in the Beau’s tent with Steve.