“Hey man meet me at the brewery,”
read a text from my friend Hunter Burnham. I had just arrived on Nantucket island and was looking around my mother’s property for my bike to ride to the Cisco brewery.
It wasn’t where I had stored it. I called my mom to investigate and she said one of her renters had been using it. “Damn hippies, leaving me stranded,” I thought.
I texted Hunter my plight and said I was going to have to try and find a ride. He wrote back, “Didn’t you go to college for running, just run here dude.”
He was right. I looked up the distance from Mom’s to the brewery and it was 3.15 miles, or almost exactly a 5k. No sweat. Clutching my id and debit card, I started my run to Cisco.
The run wasn’t bad and I eventually made it to Cisco, where Hunter met me with two Shark Tracker beers. I said to Hunter, “That run actually wasn’t that bad and there wasn’t too many turns. We should do a 5k from my Mom’s to the brewery next year.”
He said, “Sure whatever dude, let’s have some fun.” And thus the idea for the Nantucket Friends 5k to the Brewery was born.
“Me and Jane are definitely in for the Nantucket race if you do it, ” said my buddy Jimmy Walsh. Jimmy and the rest of my Braintree friends had visited me frequently on ACK (Nantucket) when we were growing up. They also hit it off with my Nantucket friends and after a few funny incidents, a reputation started to grow that whenever my Braintree friends were on island, something funny/stupid would happen and memories would be made.
I wanted the race to be one of those memories. And for that to happen, we needed cool shirts. If there’s one thing that defines my group of friends, besides our frequent devil may care group attitude, it’s that we like to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. That’s why when I proposed naming the first race “Riggins Run to the Brewery,” after Tim Riggins, my spirit animal from the tv show Friday Night Lights, I wasn’t surprised that they were game.
My sister designed us bad ass Tim Riggins shirts and the first 5k was on.
A group of about twenty of us gathered on my mom’s front lawn at 10 am, hungover from the night before at the Rose n Crown, ready for the inaugural race to the brewery (the group pic is missing from facebook, let me know if you have it). I told everyone the directions and after a playing of the National Anthem, we were off. My directions weren’t that great (now people run with phones for GPS) and a few people got lost, but eventually everyone made it to Cisco.
Over frosty beers, stories were told of sprint finishes between Jimmy vs Dave, who beat who, and who took a ride halfway from my mom. Everyone had a great time at the brewery and the annual tradition was born (also the tradition of Rob talking smack and eating my dust was also born…and the legacy of Evil Jane).
Each year we rename the race after a new celebrity and donate the proceeds to the Jimmy Fund and also to the National Pancreatic Society (when the race was named after Patrick Swayze). Something funny always happens and the whole weekend is a blast.
The 2018 race is happening Saturday, June 16 at 11am. We couldn’t settle on a celeb this year, so we decided on the next best thing: a Koala bear surfing a wave and drinking a beer off the coast of Nantucket.
Not everyone can stay at my Mom’s house, but anyone can join in on the race. If you would like to run, purchase a t-shirt below and join us the morning of the 16th.