Bell’s Brewery, located in Comstock, MI, offers their employees the chance to run in an event called the Bell’s Run Hoppy 5k & Stroll as a wellness event every year. But this year, as more and more races have opted to go virtual due to the ramifications of the Pandemic, Bell’s decided to not only make this traditional 5k a virtual race, but they also opened it to the public (those 21 and up.)
All participants of the 2020 Bell’s Run Hoppy Virtual 5k have the option to run or walk the week of September 28th. Though some runners have been less thrilled to run virtual races right now, it’s often a great motivator to get out the door as the weather shifts from light to dark and warm to wet. Fortunately, Fall is my favorite time to run, as the glow of multi-colored trees days and brisk air make me feel grateful for life in the Pacific Northwest. It was a welcome change after the week of the worst air quality in the world due to the horrible wildfires that destroyed so much of our beautiful state. During this time, I was feeling depressed and cheated out of what would have been a gorgeous week otherwise, as I opted out of running entirely during the fires for fear of doing more damage than good to my lungs and also suffered from horrible headaches.
For the reasons stated above, this 5k was uneventful but welcome. It’s funny that it takes so long to build up strength but hardly any time at all to lose it, and I have only managed a few short runs here and there now that my kids are back in “school” which means distance learning with yours truly and a limited schule for “me” time. I’m not going to lie here when I say I was glad that this was “only a 5k” when last year I was running marathons and 50ks at this time of year. I am learning to embrace the shorter distances these days and really savor the time on my legs. This 5k was perfect for that, and at the perfect time. It’s made me realize that any running, no matter the distance, is good for my soul.
This race was free to register for if you didn’t want any swag and only $35 if you wanted a finisher’s medal and commemorative Run Hoppy race shirt, as well as a code for 15% off all branded wearables and glassware at Bell’s General Store. Moreover, a portion of the race proceeds will be going to support To Write Love on Her Arms, which is a non-profit that helps people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. With the dark winter days coming, this seems an appropriate time to bring more awareness to mental health issues.
Bell’s Brewery has been around in MI since 1985 and what started as a small brewery with a 15 gallon soup kettle morphed into a regional craft brewery that now distributes to 41 states so far, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. This brewery, 100% family-owned and independent, currently brews over 20 beers for distribution as well as other small batches that can be found at the Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo.
October 2nd is the last day to register for this race (and the last day to receive a t-shirt and medal has already passed,) and October 3rd is the final day to run and submit your finish time. It’s not too late if you want to do it, but do it now!!