Saturday, April 12, 2014


There was a time when my hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania was a boom town. "Black Gold," anthracite coal, fueled a population boom, providing jobs to European immigrants, and turning the coal barons into millionaires. During the early part of the 20th century the city's population peaked at over 30,000 residents. Bob Hope and Ella Fitzgerald performed in local theaters.

Oil replaced coal, textile mills moved offshore, and Pottsville became another Rust Belt statistic. Today, our city's population is around 15,000.

Since 1829, however, the Yuengling family has been brewing beer in Pottsville.

Runners like beer.

Runners like Yuengling beer.

Yuengling sponsors the wildly successful Yuengling Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon, and last year decided to host a race in the city in which the original brewery still produces large quantities of beer.

Today's Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K attracted 3,000 runners to our town of 15,000.

Elite runners were few, but this morning's Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K reflected the universal appeal of today's running boom. More runners, of all ages and abilities, are running more races than ever. Add a theme, like a race starting and finishing at America's Oldest Brewery, and you have a winning recipe as successful as Yuengling Lager.

Races can be win-win situations for all involved. Runners enjoy participating in unique events, a race can provide an economic boost for a community, as well as publicity for the race sponsors.

A boom for everyone.