Singlecut North – A Race I'll Drink To

by Dr, Benita Zahn

Photo courtesy of Benita Zahn

Running is both personal and social. I think we can all agree on that. So, when you find a race that hits the high mark on both counts AND provides practical swag, you sign up for the race again and again. The SingleCut North Have a Drink on Me 5k ticks all those boxes.

SingleCut North and Side Stage Tap Room is a brewery in Clifton Park. There's a family friendly tasting room, a burger truck and plenty of outdoor seating. A year ago the hubs and I signed up for the 2023 edition of the race. It was a cold and rainy day but the event vibe was warm. We had such a great time that I marked my calendar for this year's race.

Photo courtesy of Benita Zahn

The 5km course starts and ends at the brewery. From the start, it travels along Van Patten Drive and turns into a nearby neighborhood where you hit the first mile. There are enough cheering residents in the neighborhood to encourage you along. The course loops around the neighborhood. It's well marked, well marshaled and there are enough hills and turns to make it a challenge to log a personal best. Okay, maybe not that tough but the last uphill about half a mile from the finish has participants 'muttering'. On the other hand, it was fun barrelling down that same hill on the way out!

This year the sun was shining on race day, May 4. Because this is a  USTAF sanctioned course the pack is mixed with both the speedy and the not so fast. It doesn't matter what time you post in the race because everyone gets a koozie for the beer you're treated to post race. You also get a pretty darn good pair of socks. In fact a number of runners were sporting last year's pair of socks at the race this year, so you know they're durable!

While the race is the star, the after party is fun, too. Afterall, you need time to enjoy your brew, the plethora of snacks, and the band playing familiar songs. There's also a lawn game zone with Cornhole, giant Beer Pong and Kan Jam. I also love that the race supports a local organization, Helping Hands Academy and Nursery School. It's a nonprofit, all-ability preschool program for kids aged 2-5.

Photo courtesy of Benita Zahn

This race is part of the nationwide Great American Brewery Runs. There are 3 races in the spring and 3 in the fall. Here's the link - The next race in the 518 is the ADK 5K in Lake George, September 14 at the Adirondack Brewing Company [editor’s note - both the Have a Drink on Me 5k and the ADK 5k are part of the USATF Grand Prix Series this year]. I've never done that race but if it's as good as this one it's going on my calendar.

And as for the winners, I'd say we all were because it's such fun. But the folks who went home with medals include Jon Lindehauer who broke the tape with a time of 15:58. While Nicholas Conway placed second with a 16:12 at 49 years of age. It was great seeing Nicholas as he continues his comeback [now as a top masters athlete] after being sidelined for a decade due to the ravages of Lyme Disease. Emily Taft from Albany was the first female finisher posting an 18:25.

Photo courtesy of Benita Zahn

While the Capital Region and Saratoga County were well represented here the race also attracted out of towners including Adam Mahar from Minnesota who clocked an 18:50 and finished 17th. Sarah Bachand was the top international finisher (from Quebec) crossed the line at 21:23. There was also a large contingent from Massachusetts. In total 810 people completed the race. If you can't make it to the start line there is a virtual race. And if completing the 5k isn't enough competition, there's a post race stein hoist to see who can hold a filled beer stein the longest. For more info check out

BenitaLogo.pngAbout Dr. Benita Zahn

Benita is a certified Health and Wellness Coach working with clients at Capital Cardiology Associates. Benita spent more than 40 years as a health reporter and news anchor at WNYT in Albany, NY. She covered issues such as wellness, treatment breakthroughs, aging, nutrition, and the latest health care trends. Benita’s work has taken her around the world and across the USA.  Benita is a contributor to the weekly “Live Smart” page in the Times Union, the HMRRC Pace Setter and the new magazine 55+LIVING. Benita also created and co-hosts the podcast EVERYTHING THEATER.

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