The Stevens Point Brewery is releasing their famed Bock Beer again this year, this time in a new 16 ounce can. To accompany the annual release, the Brewery is hosting the popular Point Bock Run.
The Bock brew first came about in the 1920’s and has been brought back periodically since then. The first Bock Run was held with the return of the Bock beer in the ‘70s.
A typical malty Midwestern bock brew, the archived beer recipe was rediscovered by current Brewmaster, Gabe Hopkins.
This year, the run sold out in a record-setting one hour and 44 minutes. Tickets were sold for $25 each to the maximum 2,000 runners.
The mission statement of the run is, “To promote and support the sport of running and healthy lifestyles in Central Wisconsin,” per the website.
Scott Gralla, one of the race directors, is an experienced marathon runner and helps make the race both fun and safe every year. To keep track of runners’ times accurately, each bib is outfitted with an RFID chip that electronically records the times.
The Point Bock Run, Inc. as a registered non-profit, has donated over $87,000 since 2003 to local organizations that support the community.
All Portage County elementary school running programs, among many high school programs, and even the Green Circle Trail are recipients of the donated money each year.
Julie Birrenkott, director of marketing for the Point Brewery, said, “We always have a great turn-out, whether it is five or forty degrees.”
The five-mile race will close roads for a few hours Saturday, Mar. 4 on part of Water Street, over the Wisconsin River on County Highway HH, and down West River Drive.
Runners of all ages are welcome to participate in the Bock Run, as age groups range from under 15 years old to over 80. Last year, Ron Barr set the record in the 80+ age group at one hour, 14 minutes and 50 seconds.
Any record setter in an age group is guaranteed entry to next year’s race, which is a worthy prize since the event sells out faster each year.
There will be a gathering in a heated tent at the Brewery post-run where runners will have access to free food and three free drinks from Point Brewery. Additional beer tickets for runners and spectators will be available for $2 each.
Volunteers from the community will serve runners and guests in the tent, including members of the UWSP Curling Club which regularly volunteers at both this event and Pointoberfest, held every September.
If you missed out this year, tickets go on-sale Jan. 1 at noon each year, so be ready.