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The Nog Run Club!

Monday, August 4

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM ical

Tir na nOg Irish Pub & Restaurant

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Join us any Monday night for a run, a very social group pf people. You will love what you find here. The Nog run club has had as many as 427 runners sign in on a Monday night. All this started when one woman went to try on a pair of running shoes.

In a few words.......

The nOg Run Club is the result of a couple of chance encounters, a few like-minded folks at Tir Na Nog and Fleet Feet Sports Raleigh, and hundreds of Triangle residents who love to run, walk, and drink beer.  Liz Pagano only expected to be skillfully fit for running shoes when she went to Fleet Feet in the summer of 2008.  She didn’t expect to plant the seed for the nOg Run Club in the process.

While Eugene Wheeler was fitting Liz for shoes, she started asking him about local options for social runs.  Eugene told her about the weekly runs from the store, and in the course of the conversation, Liz mentioned that her brother owned a pub in downtown Raleigh and was interested in starting a pub run.  Eugene’s heart leaped at the thought of running and beer coupled together in one synergetic experience.

He got permission from Bob Morris, the owner of Fleet Feet, to pursue this dream (an idea that had been kicked around in the backroom of Fleet Feet more than once before this encounter).  So with a mind like a steel trap, Eugene promptly went the very next day to set up the first run…at the wrong pub.  He relayed to the bartender all about how he had met the owner’s sister the day before, and was anxious to start a terrific partnership with that certain watering hole.  But no such meeting had actually occurred. The owner probably thought Eugene was up to shenanigans, and that was the end of a brief dream.

Months later, Julie Stumpf, then marketing manager at Fleet Feet Sports Raleigh, went to talk to the great folks at Chiropractic Café about forming a business partnership.  Who should Julie encounter at Chiropractic Café, but one Liz Pagano.  She told Julie about her brother’s pub, Tir Na Nog.  At that moment, the trumpets blared, the planet’s aligned, and runners and beer drinkers from all corners of the Triangle reported getting warm fuzzies.

This was the missing link – the name of the correct pub.  Numbers were exchanged and plans were made.  Julie worked out the logistics of starting a new club, and Eugene mapped a 2-, 3-, 5-, and 6-mile route leaving from Tir Na Nog’s prime piece of downtown real estate.  Pete Pagano, owner of Tir Na Nog, organized the bar side of things – free, tasty food, towels for the runners, great beer specials and a stellar bar staff willing to serve a bunch of sweaty (and possibly smelly) runners and walkers.

The first run was held the first Monday in August, and expectations were low.  We were not above including any bar patron who happened to be wearing shorts in our attendance numbers.  We did not expect the nearly 70 folks who showed up for the inaugural nOg Run Club.  We didn’t know folks would hang out for a couple of hours afterward enjoying the company of other Froth Hounds.  Word spread, and attendance doubled the next month.  This was the impetus for the biweekly runs we now have.  Once a month just wasn’t enough running and beer for our dedicated pack of Froth Hounds.

A few things have changed.  Amanda Clark now shares many of Julie’s logistical duties with the nOg Run Club.  And Stephanie Neal consolidated the original multiple routes into two solid routes that are pleasantly devoid of any of the unmarked paths, stairs, open manholes, moats, barbed wire or secret passages that might have been present at the first nOg Run Club meeting.

But the spirit is the same.  We love runners and walkers, and we love beer drinkers.  If you fit any of those descriptions, come join us.  And after your first run -- after you have been welcomed into the Froth Hound fold -- bring a friend or two next time.
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