Let’s Get to Know … Tim Cigelske!

Tim Cigelske has impressive speed at every distance from the 5k to the marathon. But even more impressive to us is his involvement in the MKE running community.

Some of you may already know him through DRAFT magazine as The Beer Runner. In addition to writing the popular blog, Tim also heads up City Running Tours in Milwaukee, volunteers with Team Challenge and DetermiNation, regularly runs with his Marquette University coworkers and participates in races throughout the year.

Read on to learn more about his training, upcoming race goals and his top pick for a post-race beer!

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Age: 34
Years running: 20
Favorite race distance: 5K
Pre-race routine: Caffeine, meditation and portapotties
Favorite post-race treat: Beer
Racing shoes of choice: Brooks

12207835_10153161288007967_1899046077_nWith Team Challenge at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

How did you get started with running and what’s motivated you to keep at it throughout the years?
My middle school gym teacher made us run a half mile before every class and timed us. When I started out, I was an out-of-shape video game addict who was just OK at running. But after months of running I started beating everyone in the class, including the kids a year older than me. This made me get competitive with myself to see how much I could improve. That same motivation to push myself – with a new PR, a new distance, better training or a smarter race – has kept me going ever since.

12207856_10153161289572967_1267959379_nTim with his wife after his first Lakefront Marathon

What does a typical training week look like for you?
I work at Marquette University and our president, Mike Lovell, is a huge runner who started a running group on campus for students, faculty and staff. We run together twice a week, usually one track workout and a tempo run. I also run downtown and the lakefront with a group of friends 1-2 times a week. On the weekends, if the weather is nice, I like to take my two-year-old son for a long run in the jogging stroller. It’s nice bonding time together and if he finds the stroller in the garage he’ll crawl in and ask to go for a run.

What workout lets you know you’re ready to race?
It’s usually not a hard workout. I feel like I’m ready to race after I’ve put in all the work, I’m tapering and I go out for a short run and my legs feel like they have some “spring” in them. Then I can’t wait to get to the starting line.

Tell us a bit about the Beer Runner blog – How did it get started? And what came first – a love of running or a love of beer?
I started doing some freelance writing for the craft beer magazine DRAFT in about 2007, and a year later I pitched them the idea of a blog about beer and running. My idea was there are a lot of people who live physically active lives and reward themselves with a quality beer. At the time, there wasn’t really anyone writing about that lifestyle. I knew there was a niche out there, but I never knew how big it would get with social media. Since then I’ve been mentioned in Runner’s World, completed a three-year streak of having at least one beer and running one mile a day, and I’m still having a blast being part of this community.

In your opinion, do different beers taste better after different distances? For example, is there a beer that is especially great after a 5k or one that’s best after a marathon?
Today, there are beers that are brewed specifically for a certain race or even a running club, like the Big Boss Brewing Company’s Tailwind IPA or the Boston Marathon’s 26.2 beer by Sam Adams. I believe that the best beer is whatever is free at the finish line.

12204891_10153161288627967_1002881639_nEnjoying a post-race beer!

What is your go-to beer after a hard workout or race?
Any IPA or Pale Ale.

Have you participated in a beer mile? If so, what was your experience, and do you have any tips for runners interested in doing one?
I have, maybe six or seven times. This summer I went out to San Francisco to run and write about the Beer Mile World Classic: http://draftmag.com/canada-takes-world-mile-beer-classic/. The hardest part of the beer mile is drinking all that liquid and then still running. The alcohol doesn’t even hit you until after you’re done running. There’s really nothing you can do to prepare to make it suck less. Just get some friends together, don’t take yourself seriously and have fun!

12200632_10153161290057967_16649817_nTim at the Milwaukee Running Group – OMG Beer Mile

Where are your favorite places to run in Milwaukee?
The Oak Leaf Trail, the Hank Aaron Trail, Three Bridges Park and Hart/Hoyt Park.

What are your favorite Milwaukee races and what do you like about them?
My new favorite race is the Milwaukee Running Festival. I’ll just share what I wrote on Facebook about it:

“It hit me when I was headed up the hill on Brady Street. It gave me goosebumps.

Running is how I learned my way around Milwaukee. When I was a freshman in college, I used to purposely get lost and use the US Bank building tower as a landmark to find my way back.

Running is how I discovered neighborhoods, rivers, bridges, beaches and the lakefront. It introduced me to all the city had to offer.

Running is how I’ve formed countless friendships with the people I saw at the start line or cheering along the course.

Running has made this city feel like my own.

For me, it felt like the Milwaukee Running Festival was a journey 15 years in the making. I was thankful for Chris Ponteri for having this vision to make a true city marathon and half marathon a real event.

So headed up Brady Street in the neighborhood Jess (Tim’s wife) and I lived after college, it felt like a reunion, a homecoming, a holiday and a celebration all in one.”

What are your running goals for the upcoming year?
After a year where I PR’d in the 5K, 8K, half marathon and marathon, I’m not sure where I go from here. I’m 34, I think I have a few PRs in me yet. We’ll see.

Any other comments?
“You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.” – “Born To Run”

Thanks for chatting with us, Tim! If you’re interested, here are a few ways to connect:

Website: http://www.draftmag.com/blogs/beerrunner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebeerrunner/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBeerRunner

If you’re a runner in MKE, we’d love to chat with you. Send us an email at keeprunningmke@gmail.com if you’d like to be featured or know someone who should be featured in an upcoming Let’s Get to Know . . . post.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

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Explore MKE With City Running Tours!

Now there’s a way to learn about our great city while also getting your run on.

Whether you’re looking for a guided route, a running partner or simply a change of pace, City Running Tours is the place to find it. Below, Tim Cigelske – aka The Beer Runner – tells us a bit about this brand-new Milwaukee business.

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For people who are unfamiliar with City Running Tours, can you talk a bit about the business and what it offers?
The name basically says it all. Lots of cities offer walking tours, biking tours, bus tours or boat tours. This one just happens to involve running while sightseeing. City Running Tours has been around for nine years, and is now in 16 cities coast to coast, from San Francisco to Washington, DC.

How did you get the idea to bring City Running Tours to MKE?
I heard about City Running Tours when it first launched in New York, and I was one of its first customers when it came to Chicago. I’ve always had the idea of bringing it to Milwaukee in the back of my mind. I recently reconnected again with the owner over Twitter, and that spawned a conversation about launching the Milwaukee chapter. We now have multiple tour guides from the Milwaukee running community.

Who do you see using this type of service?
Obviously, this is a good way for tourists, conference attendees or business travelers to see a different side of the city when they’re traveling. But it’s also a way to learn a lot about your own backyard. I’ve lived in Milwaukee for nearly 15 years but learned new facts while prepping for the Milwaukee History Tour and the Brew City Heritage Tour. You see the city with new eyes and appreciate the story behind things like the duck statue on Wisconsin Avenue or how a park got its name, which you may otherwise pass by without noticing.

Do you see running while away from home as intimidating for people? If so, what are the hurdles and how can City Running Tours help make running while traveling easier?
Definitely. I used to work at a hotel and guests always came to me to find running paths or runner-friendly routes. But it’s still easy to get lost and turned around, or you’re too wrapped up in paying attention to where you’re going to appreciate your new surroundings. So this way you have a guide that takes care of devising your routes and showcasing the city while getting in your workout.

Why might even MKE natives want to try a service like City Running Tours?
To add to my previous answer, running tours are also good for group outings and get-togethers. You could tie into a bachelor or bachelorette party, workplace outing or happy hour for tours that end at the beer garden or Sprecher Brewery. You and your friends get to earn your beer.

Can you tell us a bit about the Group Running Tours? How did you select the routes? What should participants expect concerning paces, etc?
I started using my own favorite routes after nearly 15 years of running around Milwaukee. I use running to explore places myself. Based on popular tours in other cities, the beer and history tours were a no-brainer. I also wanted to showcase our lakefront and the totally underrated river trails. We cater to any jogging pace and offer multiple tour guides for larger groups. I’m always open to new tour ideas if anyone has them for me!

What should people know about the Personalized Running Tours?
It’s like having your own personal running coach, if your coach happens to share interesting tidbits about the city while running. A guide meets you and leads you 1-on-1 on a tour personalized for you. This is a popular option for business travelers or those on a schedule who want to customize their distance, pace and location.

Can you tell us a bit about the corporate and social sightrunning options?
The corporate events provide the customization that the personal tours offer, but on a larger scale. Conferences or business outings can choose their themes, days, starting times, etc and have multiple tour guides host them.

How can people connect with City Running Tours?
All of the place! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @TheBeerRunner.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Tim! City Running Tours sounds like a great addition to the city and we look forward to trying one of the tours!

MKE runners: What is your favorite route to run in MKE?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!