Participants in the five-mile Point Bock Run gathered last Saturday at the Stevens Point Brewery for the coldest run in 12 years.
The temperature only reached 4 degrees by the noon start time, but members of the community were not hindered.
As a tradition, the race always takes place on the first Saturday of March because it is the last chance for high school athletes to participate before track and field season starts.
“Registration for the run was completely full after only three hours,” said Julie Birrenkott, the director of marketing at the Stevens Point Brewery.
Despite the cold, runners and spectators showed up for the event and nearly all of the 2,000 participants that signed up on Jan. 1 were there and ready to run.
Danielle Arndt, a senior majoring in health care administration, participated for the first time in the race with her mother Gina Westphal-Arndt.
“We had to dress in a lot of layers, and even though it was cold, it was a fun mother daughter run,” Arndt said.
The Stevens Point Brewery provided four refrigerated trailers and about 60 half barrels of beer and root beer. They also brought heaters to warm people up in a large tent.
“It was chilly, but we didn’t give up and we took full advantage of our free drinks afterwards,” Arndt said.
Stevens Point is known as a running community. The Green Circle Trail has over 27 miles of running trails circling the city, and many state and national champions run for the university and local high schools. It is no wonder that registration filled quickly and there were many interested people.
“It’s a great community event at your local brewery, promoting great beers and ciders and healthy lifestyles,” Birrenkott said.
Birrenkott mentioned that she had looked forward to serving the new Point Bock Beer.
“It’s made especially for the Point Bock Run and then there’s the summer favorite, Ciderboys Peach County,” Birrenkott said.
Birrenkott also helped fill cups of water and handed sports drinks out to runners as they crossed the finish line. Muffins, cookies and other snacks were provided.
“I had a lot of fun and would definitely do it again next year,” Arndt said. “But hopefully it will be a bit warmer.”