It was a chilly morning as the Mental Health Association kicked off its first ever Brew-2-Brew Half Marathon at The Walking Tree Brewery. The St. Patrick's Day morning race had 122 participants who arrived armed with their official race kit's which included a race bib, timing chip, official event t-shirt and Swag Bag full of great products and samples.
Participants of the Brew-2-Brew took to the streets of Vero Beach at 7:15 am. The 13.1-mile route included a scenic trip through McAnsh Park, downtown Vero Beach, and a trip past the Vero Beach Municipal Airport.
122 runners showed up from 17 different states to compete. Competitively, Benjamin Koconis, Milwaukee, WI, and Christine Burger, Fort Pierce, FL took top place in the male and female overall, with respective times of 1:28:34 and 1:48:01. The male and female Master titles were taken by Brian Rahaley, Fort Collins, CO and Lori Lazorik, Fort Pierce, FL finishing in 1:31:07 and 1:57:01 respectively.
The race festivities included live music by the Friends & Neighbors Band, coffee and bagels supplied by Einstein's Brothers Bagels and fresh, Florida juice donated by Indian River Select. As each runner made their way through the finish line, they received a Brew-2-Brew race medal, which doubled as a bottle opener along with a gold coin that they could use to cash in for one of Walking Tree's craft brews. After the race, the thirsty and accomplished patrons filled the bar and toasted to their victories.
"We are extremely pleased with the turnout for our first-time event," said MHA Executive Director, Dr. Robert Brugnoli. "We hope it will bring awareness to the community and help us raise funds to support what we do at the MHA".
On Saturday evening, the first ever Shamrock Shindig was held to celebrate the morning race. Continuing the theme of Brew-2-Brew, the event had craft beer and wine pairings with upscale hor d'oeuvres stations. The ocean side venue was a perfect setting for the Bobby Owens Band who provided fabulous dancing music.
Some of the Sponsors of the 2018 Brew-2-Brew Half Marathon included: Toyota/Kia of Vero Beach, George E. Warren Corporation, The Hill Group, Karen Black, Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Gould, Cooksey, Fennell, Macata Stone & Tile, ...Salt...A Halotherapy Spa, Center State Bank, Rossway, Swan, Tierney, Barry & Lacey, Budget Blinds, Kmetz, Nuttall, Elwell, Graham PLLC, Dr. Karen Mersky, Anne Lanier, Stacey Morabito, Hal & Nancy Ofstie, and Kim Marcil-Wieleba, LCSW.