Race to the Taps: Southern Appalachian

Race To The Taps Hendersonville NC

The popular local racing series, Race to the Taps, came to downtown Hendersonville’s Southern Appalachian Brewery. June 11 th marked the second race of the beer and run loving series. Produced by Mix 96.5 and Kick It Event Management, Race to the Taps is a four race series that cumulatively equals a marathon (26.2 miles). One of the event’s mottos this year is “Who says a marathon has to be run in one day?” The second installment was a 6.2 mile/10k run at 11 am on a particularly warm day. Runners at the starting line were already looking forward to the beer reward for finishing the race.

At the starting line, you see loved ones giving kisses and embraces to wish their runner good luck. You can see smiles being exchanged among other runners. Participants were taking last minute stretches, mp3 checks, tying their laces just right, readjusting racing bibs or making light conversation with their neighbor. Some last minute racers scrambled to the starting line while other runners became stoic to prepare themselves mentally for the run. The running community brings a feeling of togetherness, but also an individual sense of accomplishment.

The course was not particularly “elevationally” challenging, but Mother Nature threw in quite the variable with temperatures in the upper 80s. Every race has its individual demand; whether it is the course, the outdoor elements, distance or just your particular mindset that day. Hands down, this race’s challenge was the heat. When running races, it is just as much about your mental game as it is your physical fitness. Running can quickly humble you, but the psyche must be reinforced with positive self-talk and curbing negative thoughts.

The route weaved through neighborhoods, William H. King Memorial Park and Oklawaha Greenway. I didn’t even know these places existed and I live in Hendersonville! One of the beautiful things about running is that you get to experience your environment in a different way. Racing delivers a bird’s eye view of your surroundings and you may even experience a feeling of connectedness to your community.

Seeing and hearing the spectators as you near the finish line can bring a third, fourth or even a fifth wind! Knowing the end is near and that a delicious, ice cold Southern Appalachian beer will soon be in your grips, is just enough encouragement to add a little extra gas to your tank. People and children are smiling and cheering; it warms the heart and brings joy and gratitude. You completed 6.2 miles for yourself today and it feels so good.

After the cool down and recovery, the postrace celebration was in full effect. Smiles and nods of mutual respect were exchanged among runners. Racers were holding a pint of their favorite cold brew while enjoying the openness of the tasting room. I chose the always fantastic Belgian Blonde Ale and sipped it victoriously in front of a fan.

Once I felt fully recovered, I was able to once again step out into the sunshine to peruse the vendor and sponsor tents. Paramount Kia, Gold’s Gym, Fleet Feet Sports, Whole Foods, Blue Ridge Orthodontics, Mills River Partnership and many others were out in full force volunteering and representing their organizations. Live music, freebies and information were aplenty. It was pleasurable to take a step back and appreciate that a community can come together in support of one another. Not just the runners, but sponsors working together to support a great event and one another. And this is what being in a community is all about; fellowship, building and fostering relationships, support and providing opportunities for all to make progress and win.

For more information about the running series: www.racetothetaps.com

Written by Tamara Bernazky-Alm. Find and follow me on Twitter @rabbitlb09