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Taproom Trail Runners combine beer, running

New club wants to bring community together by going on jogs, reuniting at taproom to share drinks

Jesse+Clark%2C+left%2C+and+Mark+Tolman%2C+founders+of+the+Taproom+Trail+Runners%2C+discuss+how+best+to+organize+runs+and+whether+dogs+should+be+allowed.+They+took+suggestions+from+other+members+at+the+club+meeting.
Jesse Clark, left, and Mark Tolman, founders of the Taproom Trail Runners, discuss how best to organize runs and whether dogs should be allowed. They took suggestions from other members at the club meeting.

Jesse Clark, left, and Mark Tolman, founders of the Taproom Trail Runners, discuss how best to organize runs and whether dogs should be allowed. They took suggestions from other members at the club meeting.

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Jesse Clark, left, and Mark Tolman, founders of the Taproom Trail Runners, discuss how best to organize runs and whether dogs should be allowed. They took suggestions from other members at the club meeting.

AUDREY HUDDLESTON, Evergreen reporter

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Beer lovers and runners can rejoice — Mark Tolman of Paradise Creek Brewery created a club that combines the two.

Because WSU will be on spring break, the Taproom Trail Runners’ first run will be unofficial. Tolman said the break poses some limitations and they don’t want to launch the group on a date when so many members are unavailable.

He said the idea of the group is to go on a collective run and then reunite at the taproom to share a beer together. Logistical aspects of the club may change as time goes on, including the distance and times of each run.

“It’s going to be an organic first few runs,” Tolman said, “where we figure what the personality of the group is [and] what people are running distance-wise. I don’t want to set a time, necessarily. That’s just too far beyond what people are gonna want to stick around for.”

Tolman said he considered setting up time suggestions, as opposed to distance, for the runners.

“That was my feeling,” he said. “To try and [organize] something that we come back together at roughly the same time.”

Jesse Clark, a member with experience in the beer industry, lobbied for a distance suggestion instead of a certain time frame. He said this would allow people to run at their own pace, and would be easier on the bartenders at the taproom.

“When everybody comes back at once,” Clark noted, “it bum-rushes the taproom.”

Dogs were present at the meeting and the club discussed including them on the runs. Some are drawn to the club because they can run with their dogs, member Matt Mietchen said.

He said his friends and colleagues seemed hesitant to join the club, but were much more interested when he mentioned a potential dog route.

However, not all members shared interest in dogs joining the runs.

“I personally would rather not emphasize the dog thing,” member Joe Hewa said. “I hate running with dogs.”

Tolman said he hopes the trails selected will be conducive for members to run with their dogs without posing problems to others, though he understands why the idea could make some uncomfortable.

Members are looking into the possibility of food trucks hosted outside the taproom on meeting nights for any hungry runners.

Though Pullman is a small community, Tolman said he hopes the run club attracts many members. Some suggested creating T-shirts and a reward system.

Tolman said he wants anyone to feel comfortable joining, regardless of their running abilities.

Members will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday evenings at the Paradise Creek Brewery Trailside Taproom. The group has met the past two Mondays to hash out a plan for the club. The first unofficial run will take place Monday, and the first official run will be the following Monday, March 19.

“The key is beer, not the running,” Tolman said. “Your pace, or how fast you are, or all that stuff, is a personal choice.”

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Taproom Trail Runners combine beer, running