eseo e logo red
Announcement! We've partnered with Run The Day to help boost the Philadelphia running community.
- Read the Press Release -

an every-person’s run club: an interview with noah and sandy of manayunk beer runners

posted by
eseo sports

learn more about manayunk beer runners and what makes sandy and noah some of philly's virs

Noah Volain and Sandy Kertsetter are the co-captains of the Manayunk Beer Runners Club in Philadelphia. Ian, the founder of eseo (every sport for every one), interviewed them about running and the culture of beer run clubs. Check it out!

How did you get into running?

Sandy: I was never a big runner. In high school, I chose sports that didn’t require a lot of running. In 2007 I got my first dog— an Australian shepherd— and it needed a lot of exercise. Living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh at the time, I would get home from work every day and run my dog on this big loop around the lake. We usually ran one to three miles per day.

After my dog died years later, it messed me up. I had lost my running buddy. That depression and loneliness made me not want to run anymore. Or at least, I didn’t want to run alone. Eventually, I joined some running clubs. And by “some”, I mean over half a dozen. I ended up running 30-50 miles a week sometimes.

Noah: For me, my running life began in middle school. I wanted to pick up some extracurricular activities. There was a park near where I lived in western Massachusetts where a dad and his daughters held a running club. I met up with the group and started running. That got me into joining cross country and track through high school. 

After high school, I stopped running. I went to college and then moved around for two years. About eight years ago, I moved to Philly. I started running by myself. My parents were visiting after I moved here, and while we were walking at Wissahickon park, they noticed a sign for Chasing Trail. I didn’t think much of it and kind of brushed it off for a while.

In 2016, I joined the Manayunk Running Club. Through them, I met some beer runners. Around that time I attended a run for singles, and that’s where I met my now wife. In November of that year, I started running with the Beer Runners, and the rest is history. 

What’s unique about beer runners clubs?

Sandy and Noah: It’s common to see deep friendships form in these runner clubs. A lot of meaningful connections are sparked; it’s kind of this organic thing that happens. It’s a place to meet like-minded people and make strong connections. 

Sandy: We really make an effort to promote the inclusivity of our club. When you come to our runs, we have everyone — speedy people, mid-range runners, total beginners, couch to 5k; joggers healing from injuries, families with toddlers, and senior runners. This is a club for everyone. We don’t put any pressure on anyone to run at one pace. 

We always check with our runners to make sure who is or isn’t planning to come to the meetup bar afterward. That way, we know to keep our eyes out for everyone. We wait to do the toast until everyone is back. Nobody gets left behind.

One of the goals of all the Beer Runner chapters is charity, giving back, and paying attention to different ways to support the community. Whether with volunteer work or fundraising, we always look for opportunities to involve our club.

eseo + Run The Day

How did the Manayunk Beer Runners Club start?

Noah: Basically, it started from our good friend Caitlin who put out a Facebook post that she wanted to start a Fishtown Beer Runners chapter in Manayunk. That was in 2016.

Sandy became a club captain early in 2017, and I (Noah) was selected as co-captain in 2019. 

We’ll be celebrating our sixth club anniversary this September (2022) on Monday September 12th. For the anniversary every year, we do a big run to Wissahickon Brewing Company with the East Falls Flyers and the Fishtown chapter. 

What does the future hold for your beer runners club?

Sandy: I think the goal is to keep doing what we’re doing. Keep running, keep being welcoming, keep supporting local businesses— keep supporting the community and growing our reputation by just being who we are. 

I want women to know they can still do this after having kids. Once you have a family, you don’t have to give up your hobbies. Women sometimes feel intimidated coming to a run club by themselves. But I want them to know that whether you need to bring your kids or a stroller, you can run with us.

Noah: Yeah, it’s about inclusivity. It’s always been about celebrating everybody. Anyone— regardless of who you are— can feel comfortable coming to a running event with us. You don't have to run to the bar. You can walk, jog, or even just show up at the bar. At the end of the day, we want to be as welcoming as we can. 

We know that coming to a group run for the first time can bring up a lot of unknowns. But we want to be that “every person’s” club. Just show up.

Where can people connect with Manayunk Beer Runners?

Join the upcoming 6-Year Anniversary Run on Monday, September 12, at 6:30 pm EST. We run to the Wissahickon Brewing Company and then enjoy food and drinks after. You can start at East Falls or Manayunk. 

Follow the Manayunk Beer Runners on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming events. Get in touch with Sandy or Noah to learn more.

eseo search icon
learn more about manayunk beer runners and what makes sandy and noah some of philly's virs