6:30 PM Every Wednesday @JRC
Who the Growlers Are
• The Growlers are the native-born running group of the Jenkintown Running Company, ORC’s Jenkintown anchor. The group meets Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Jenkintown. Look for the sidewalk tent sign.
• It’s a mixed-gender group of cheerful, just-the-right-amount-of-goofy, mid-level runners. (Check out some of recent Growlers Group Run reports on Facebook to get more of a feel.) There’s a blend of folks who are just happy moving and have no need to run competitive events and those who have a senseless need to run in 10-mile, half-marathon, and full-marathon races.
• Typical Growlers Group Runs are 3-6 miles pacing 9-10 minutes/mile. That’s just typical. Runners are happy and able to accommodate shorter distances, longer ones, and slower and faster ones.
• Runs have historically taken place in the Rydal neighborhood year around, but lately have been favoring summer runs with variations of to, from, and around Alverthorpe Park. We’ve begun experimenting with winter runs featuring variations of the annual Sunset 5K route.
• The Growlers are an all-season group, even if harsher weather chips at the attendance numbers.
• When post-run numbers and interest accommodate, members hang out in the store over pizza (traditionally garlic and chopped tomato) and beer (all types), shooting the breeze, checking out new products, and generally trying not to offend customers by being too loud and taking up too much sales space.
Whence the Growlers Came
• Lore has that a group began running from JRC at the very beginning when founding owner Bob Gamberg hung ORC’s first slate in 1981. Its hosted members of all stripes because runners come in all stripes. Bob passed on in 2015, but he left a legacy of running lovers. It’s not difficult to find a long-time Philadelphia runner who knew him and loved him.
• The Growlers were duly dubbed in order to form a team for the 2015 Broad Street Run. The team took first place among senior, mixed-gender groups that year. The award is on display at JRC. The name is a nod both to tenacity expressed and the popular vessel for buying craft beer.
• The Growlers logo officially became a thing in 2018.
Growlers in the Wild
Whom the Growlers Follow
• Using the term “captain” loosely, I’ve been the organizing member of the Growlers Group Runs since 2017, taking the helm from long-time member Chas (Charles) Barrett who has since retired to golfing.
• I started running with the group in 2011, the same year I started running for fitness. I’ve now run 16 marathons as of October 2019, when I ran a personal record of 3:47:24 at Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY.
• My mid-life crisis comprised 3 things, running, beer, and coffee, the first 2 which the Growlers directly influenced. Because of the Growlers I can boast that I’m continuing to get faster and more knowledgeable about craft beers.
• By day, I’m a university librarian. Be careful when you run with me: I may try to edumacate you. I’m prone to waxing on about things I’ve been thinking which include running, information seeking, and sometimes faith.
Images and descriptions courtesy of Calvin Wang