On a cold and drizzly Tuesday, Jan. 7 afternoon, the first Ferment Fun Run took to the Hood River waterfront.
The new run began at Ferment Brewing Company on Second Street and Portway Avenue and went down to the Hook, back past the brewery, past the History Museum of Hood River County, under the Hood River Bridge, behind the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn and back to the brewery.
A total of 34 people ran in the fun run that covered just over four miles — following a large portion of the flat, asphalt Hood River Shoreline Trail.
Nancy Runion, Ferment general manager, and Heather Pola thought of the idea before the brewery was established in 2018. Runion said they wanted something to differentiate themselves from other breweries in town.
“I mentioned to Heather that I really wanted to do a community run and bring people back to Ferment,” Runion said. “I don’t think that any business can be where they’re at without community support. With so many breweries here in Hood River, you really want to set yourself apart and show your identity. I think the best way to do that is actually bring the people into the space and meet the people that work here.”
The event’s time also played a factor in the run’s creation, Runion said. Beginning at 6 p.m. the run aims to attract people after work, give them a chance to unwind with some refreshments and meet new people.
Terrain difficulty, or better fitting, terrain ease is also used to attract different skill levels. The Shoreline Trail’s flat ground was something Runion and Pola wanted to take advantage of.
“Our thought was to do a run down here at the waterfront, that way it’s not intimidating, it’s pretty flat, there’s several places where you can exit out if you don’t want to do the four mile loop, and it was pretty exciting to see 34 people come out,” Runion said. “We had a mom with a stroller, we had a couple kids, we had a big age group. An older gentleman, younger guys, older ladies so it was awesome to see a mix of people.”
One participant was Everett Rubin, who coincidentally works near Ferment, got a chance to run on the trail for the first time. Before moving to Hood River, Rubin lived in Charlotte, N.C., where it’s common for breweries to have a run club.
“I was kind of concerned that a lot of people weren’t going to show up to a rainy January run, but I was like, ‘I’m going. I want to meet some runners out here,’” Rubin said. “I’ve actually never ran on the sidewalk that runs along the river and I work literally across the street from it, so it was nice to finally get out there and run for a change.
“I’ll definitely bring my running shoes to work and then just, when I still have motivation, get out and bang out four miles and feel good for the rest of the day.”
Ferment’s Fun Run is held every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Ferment Brewing Company in Hood River.