FBR Founder/President David April and Dr. Manuel |The Professor” Castillo.
By Lee Porter
If you’ve been at a Philly beer bar on any Thursday evening the last nine years, chances are you’ve had a beer with the Fishtown Beer Runners (“FBR”). Founded by David N. April and Eric Fielder almost 10 years ago, FBR gathers weekly to run to a different bar where they each have a beer or two to combine responsible running and consumption in the interest of science and to toast “The Professor!” The club was inspired when April and Fielder read an article about a beer study conducted by Professor Manuel Castillo at the University of Granada (Spain) Medical School. I’ve reported on David April before in ASN and elsewhere; however, just like the Fishtown Beer Runners themselves, David and his club’s story just keeps on growing.
The first ever Beer Runner’s Summit took place over four days in Philly a handful of months ago, including a Beer Running Symposium, a cancer-research fundraising event, several beer runs in Center City and points beyond, a big symposium at Thomas Jefferson University, and Dr. Castillo’s first visit to Philadelphia since FBR was founded.
FBR president/founder David April – who successfully underwent treatment for his kidney cancer – has participated in 15 marathons and still enjoys a good beer after a long run, especially crisp German lagers and his favorite, a good smoked Rauchbier.
Dr. Castillo also favors lagers – when he’s not busy being a professor of Physiology at the University of Granada Medical School, where he specializes in nutrition, sports and anti-aging therapies. Castillo marvels at how large FBR has become, “I did a humble study to answer a simple question: Taking a couple of beers after playing tennis was a good or bad idea?” Obviously, the verdict in Philly is it’s a great idea!
April describes the Philly beer world as “vibrant, exciting and growing in parallel to the running scene.” April explains, “When I started FBR there were two breweries and only a handful of running clubs.” It’s hard to count how many of each there are these days in Philly. April says that one of the great things about healthy beer running is “the social aspect of runners gathering after a run encourages and supports people to exercise more and set goals.”
Castillo describes beer running as “much more than running and having a beer afterwards. It’s joy, friendship and mutual support.” Castillo proudly says the Spanish beer world is “a new and dynamic world with new kinds of beers available and with very high quality.”
“Anything in excess is bad,” Manuel stresses. “Beer or running is no exception. But in adequate amounts, running with friends and having one or maximum two beers afterwards is positive for health, well-being and happiness.”
Castillo says that some of his best beer memories are with family, friends, “after a hard military training under the sun in the summertime in the torrid south of Spain,” after playing tennis, after skiing, going out with friends and colleges in Ireland, the UK, Belgium, and Germany. “But the most impressive beer memory,” he says, “was after a beer run in Fishtown, meeting those extraordinary and friendly Fishtown Beer Runners in Philadelphia. This last beer memory is not only in relation to beer but in relation to those great people that beer and beer running gave me the unique opportunity to meet.”
So what are you waiting for? Get off your couch and join the Fishtown Beer Runners for a run this summer/fall. For more information, visit: www.FishtownBeerRunners.com. Cheers to David April, the Fishtown Beer Runners, and of course, “to The Professor!”