At the center of these increasingly elaborate post-race parties is the beer garden.
We went searching for the best post-race beer gardens in the U.S. and drank our way through a variety of options.
Fremont Oktoberfest 5KSeattle, Washington 1 of 11
Photo Credit: Bold Hat Productions
No Oktoberfest 5K would be complete without a bustling beer garden. The Fremont Oktoberfest 5K finish line is set up directly in front of the entrance to the local Oktoberfest festival, voted one of the Top 10 Best Places to toast Oktoberfest by USA Today and Orbitz. Weary runners can rehydrate with more than 80 local craft and German beers at the largest Oktoberfest event in the Pacific Northwest.
Helotes 5K Beer Garden RunHelotes, Texas 2 of 11
Photo Credit: Dan Kruse
After a fun run through Old Town Helotes, runners are invited to continue the party in the beer garden. Finishers are treated to a wide variety of local brews—a dozen Texas craft beers to be exact—as well as some of the best barbecue in the land. The top three finishers are even awarded beer mugs instead of traditional medals at the finish.
Hot Dash 5K and 10 MileMinneapolis, Minnesota 3 of 11
This Minnesota-themed event is a great way to kick off your spring racing season. At the post-race party, Twin Cities-based Finnegan's brews are served in the beer garden, as well as plenty of hot, Minnesota-inspired dishes, as the name suggests. Be sure to dress the part and get in on the lumberjack costume contest and winter beard competition.
Colorado MarathonFort Collins, Colorado 4 of 11
Photo Courtesy of Colorado Marathon
Not only is this one of the most scenic races around, taking runners down Poudre Canyon into Fort Collins, it's also one of the fastest. Finishers can celebrate that newly minted PR with a beer from Odell Brewing Company in the post-race beer garden. Marathon, half marathon, 5K, and 10K participants are treated to free pizza in Old Town Square.
Shiner Beer Run Half Marathon and 5KShiner, Texas 5 of 11
You know when an event is named after a historic brewery, it's going to have an awesome post-race beer garden. In addition to plenty of cold ones, the post-race party features live music and brewery tours after the race. Runners also have the chance to win a Shiner-branded Gibson guitar or Yeti Tundra cooler, among other prizes.
St. Patrick's Day DashSeattle, Washington 6 of 11
Photo Credit: Jeff Carpenter, Team Photogenic
This post-5K beer garden in the spirit of the St. Patrick's Day tradition has become a favorite among locals. The event serves up Redhook Ales and Waterbrook Wines as well as traditional Celtic tunes to keep the party going long after runners cross the finish line. You may even want to try your hand at the cup-stacking competition, cornhole toss or Lucky Charms beer chugging contest.
Grandma's MarathonDuluth, Minnesota 7 of 11
Photo Credit: Jeff Frey & Associates
Unlike most marathons, Grandma's is held on a Saturday, so you don't need to drag yourself out of bed the very next morning to head to work. This is probably why the post-race beer garden and adjoining celebration in Duluth is so epic. All marathon and half marathon finishers receive a refreshment ticket to be redeemed under the big-top tent, where there is live entertainment all weekend long.
Flying Fish 5KSomerdale, New Jersey 8 of 11
Starting and finishing at Flying Fish Brewery, this 5K race and finish line party includes live music, lawn games, food trucks and, of course, beer. Past years have featured the release of the brewery's newest award winning beer, giving runners a first taste. If that weren't enough, each finisher also receives his or her very own commemorative beer mug.
Cascade Lakes Relay CLR24Bend, Oregon 9 of 11
You'll need a beer after covering two or three legs of this 132-mile, 8- to 12-person relay. Touting nine local breweries in their post-race beer garden, the Cascade Lakes Relay is an experience you won't soon forget. Friends and family are invited to join in on the revelry, which also includes music and other festivities in Riverbend Park.
Sarasota Music Half MarathonSarasota, Florida 10 of 11
This post-race celebration held on the front lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center should not to be missed. After logging 13.1 miles, you can rock out to live Motown hits from Reverend Barry and Funktastic Soul while sipping a cold one in the beer garden. Don't forget to fill up on their amazing breakfast buffet, which serves French toast crostini, applewood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit.