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Run for the Booty, stay for the beer

April 12th, 2014 9:28 pm by Tony Casey

Run for the Booty, stay for the beer

It was estimated that approximately 500 people took part in ETSU's Run for the Booty 5K on Saturday. (Photos by Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press)

It’s never too early in the day to start twerking.

Before Saturday morning’s Run for the Booty 5K color run on East Tennessee State University’s campus, instructors from Peak Fitness took the stage to warm up the crowd of color runners with some fitness twerking. And the warm-up appeared to work for the several hundred participants who shot out from the starting line as a cannon blasted, then wound through ETSU’s campus, getting hit with corn starch-based colored powder along the way.

Jayme Gregory had thrown the powder before and she was well prepared for the runners as they came around her spot to the east of the Mini Dome. With the help of Jordan and Linda Skeen, they formulated locations on both sides of where the runners would pass to cover them with orange-, blue-, yellow- and purple-colored powder.

“I try not to get it in their eyes and just throw it up in the air and let them run through it,” Gregory said.

The army of white T-shirts would not stay white for very long.

Had siblings Lyle and Kelby Marston, students at ETSU, not been wearing sunglasses, their eye shade might have resulted in the same shade as their skin — bright orange. They were in the running as the most colored of anyone in attendance, with their clothes and bodies representing many colors of the rainbow.

Kelby Marston was proud of the orange and all the other colors on her body, which went along well with the day’s later event, the 3rd Annual Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza.

“My skin looks tie-died,” she said. “I look like an alien.”

Race director Karen Hubbs said the numbers weren’t immediately available, but it looks like there were about 500 people taking part in the event that will send part of the profits to ETSU’s blossoming football program and Johnson City Schools taking part in the event. As far as all the color in the run, Hubbs gave the nod to the men.

“It’s looks like the men got more colored than the women,” Hubbs said after the race.

Just before the finish line, runners ran across the walkway above State of Franklin Road, something unique compared to other races in the area. Just beyond the walkway was the fenced-off section used by the Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza, next to the Millennium Centre.

Dozens of brewers from across the region were on hand to pass out suds to around 2,500 people. The third installment of the event drew around 800 more people than the previous year, event organizer Stephanie Carson said.

“These brewers have fought hard for their businesses,” Carson said. “They’re really smart, passionate people.”

Carson and organizers asked the brewers to brings something unique along with, of course, their flagship beers. The fun spread over to the Carnegie Hotel, which was packed with reservations for those unwilling to drink and drive and looking for a convenient place to stay the night.

Events like the Brew Extravaganza, she said, will help put pressure on the region to come up with more beer-producing businesses.

When she went before the City Commission to finalize plans to bring the event to the Millennium Centre, Carson said Johnson City Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin asked her to bring with her from Asheville, N.C., that beer boom that they’ve had over the state line.

She said she considered that a good sign for local beer lovers, to have the mayor in their corner in regard to potential breweries. She also said the state needs to re-evalutate its beer-related laws to better support these blossoming small busineses.

One of those regional brewers, Drake Scott, from Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon, Va., was on hand to hand out some of his best brews. He takes pride in bringing his best stuff to beer festivals like this one.

“It gives us that mass exposure and gives people a chance to talk to the brewer, so I can tell them all about it,” Scott said.

Tapping into the Johnson City campus scene will be great for local brewers, said Carson, who thinks it’s clear how good a decision it was to move from the event’s previous location at Mellow Mushroom to the open grass next to the Millennium Centre.

One shouldn’t just drink beer, though, said Stormy Fryar of Asheville’s Beer City Hoopers, a group of girls who use hula hooping as way to stay fit and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

“Beer makes you feel better,” Fryar said. “But hooping prevents beer bellies.”

She and the group’s founder, Katherine Erhlichman, were spinning in the sun next to the beer tents, taking part in the beer sampling between their twirling tricks with the hoops. She said most of the members of the group are in school and having fun with hula hoops on the weekends and were at the event for the second year in a row.

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