Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Beer Run crushes expectations


Pierre Bibbs

Over fifty runners showed up for the First Annual Malta Beer Run, an event hosted by Blue Ridge Brewery and the Malta Department of Parks and Recreation last Saturday.

Despite the threat of rain and the reality of a cold and sunless day, the First Annual Malta Beer Run, hosted by Blue Ridge Brewing and Malta Parks & Rec was a success.

"We would have done it no matter what because we had so many people that signed up to run," Malta Parks and Recreation Director Julia Tatafu said.

Over 50 runners and over 20 patio participants were present at the event on Saturday, May 18, at the Blue Ridge Brewing.

"We actually had a better turnout for the run than we anticipated," Blue Ridge Brewing owner Brianna Shores told the PCN. "We are really surprised at how many out of town people came."

There were runners from all over the Hi-Line including runners from Glasgow, Chinook, and Havre. The run even featured one runner from Edgewater, Maryland, Marv Solberg, brother of Orvin Solberg.

"I found out about this run in the PCN," M. Solberg said. "It was one of my first purchases when I got into town. I bought it at Buttrey's (Albertsons)."

Shores knew that to organize the event, she would partner up with a familiar face in Julia Tatafu of Malta Parks and Rec.

"She mapped all of the run out and put up the directional arrows and got it pretty close to 3.107 miles, which is a 5K," Shores said.

Though most of the entry money went towards running the event, the event sent an unspecified amount to benefit the Malta Department of Parks and Recreation.

"It was more so about bringing something to Malta that a lot of other places have," Shores said. "We brought a brewery to Malta and that was one thing but we want to bring everything else that comes with a brewery."

For runners aged 21 and older the cost to partipate was $30. This entry included a t-shirt, custom pint glass, and a free post race beer.

For those 21 and over who purchased a patio ticket, they received a a t-shirt, custom pint glass, and a free beer.

For those 20 and under, entry was $15 and the participant received a t-shirt.

Steph Slonosky, a seasonal worker for the CMR Fish and Wildlife Fire Management, was the first person to cross the line in the run, winning the men's race.

"It was pretty nice and it warmed up this morning," Slonosky said. "It was a good day and I am pretty happy about it."

Slonosky, who lives in New York, was a part of a couple of National Championship Cross Country teams for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

Among the men, Damien Austin was second and Sawyer Kendall was third.

Malta's Carly Prestwich, a teacher at Whitewater Schools, was the women's champion, crossing the line at 22 minutes.

"It was pretty good," Prestwich said. "We went down 1st street all the way to the walking bridge and up to the gate, took a left and went across Hillcrest and then down the dump road, then took a right on 6th street, and then left on the hospital road and back."

Prestwich who runs half marathons and 5K races every year, was appreciative of the Malta Beer Run.

"It's nice to have this in Malta because usually you have to travel for these, so it's nice to have one here," Prestwich said.

Malta's Mary Oxarart was second for the women and Stephanie Larson was third.

Kaycee Bond, a junior at Malta High School and member of the M-ette Cross Country team was the only 20 and under participant in the event.

"It was very tiring," Bond said with a smile. "I didn't really train for it, so I wasn't prepared."

Not old enough to drink an alcoholic beverage, Bond mentioned that she would celebrate the race by grabbing a Coke or water.

Marv Solberg finished in the top ten runners.

"It's been a long time since I have run a 5K," Solberg said. "I mostly run marathons."

Solberg went on to say that he is coming off of a year and a half rehab due to foot injuries. He started walking about three months ago. Visiting family in Malta, Solberg has found his stride again.

"I have run about six times here in Malta and that's the most I have run in a year and a half," he said.


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