Taste Victory Lap after Naperville Marathon
Anyone who finishes this year's Healthy Driven Naperville Marathon or Half Marathon and thinks, "It's time for a Victory Lap," will be in luck.
Victory Lap has been chosen as the name of a beer Two Brothers Brewing Co. in Warrenville is crafting specifically for the marathon, which will be off and running Sunday, Nov. 8.
Race directors announced the name of the beer this week at the brewery as they celebrated the brainchild of Kristen Nagle of Aurora, a runner signed up for the half marathon who proposed the moniker.
"There were so many creative names," said Dave Sheble, one of the directors of the third annual race. "All were very clever and well thought-out."
Runners who voted online chose "Victory Lap" as the name of the special American pale ale over four other options -- Long Run Pale Ale, Runner's Reward, NaperBrew and Smooth Finish.
Victory Lap was the clear winner with 183 of the 383 votes, followed by Long Run Pale Ale with 84 votes, Runner's Reward with 47, NaperBrew with 37 and Smooth Finish with 29.
Nagle, who describes herself as a "word nerd" who writes birthday poetry for her three children, said she came up with Victory Lap after rejecting ideas like Painkiller and Mile Marker.
"You can lap up the attention, lap up the beer, lap up all of the fun stuff at the end after you've earned your reward," she said.
Before the finalists were chosen, some quirky names among the 170 entries originally submitted, like 26. brew, were disqualified because they wouldn't apply to half marathoners. In what is still a tough endurance challenge for many competitors, half marathoners will run 13.1 miles (instead of 26.2) through downtown Naperville starting and finishing on Eagle Street at the DuPage River.
The races start at 7 a.m. When half marathoners start finishing an hour or so later, many will have completed a major goal and feel ready for a brew.
"We were trying to get something that would be representative of the accomplishment, and of course the accomplishment could be a half or a full," Sheble said. "That eliminated some names that were perhaps geared around more the marathon distance."
Sheble said the Naperville Marathon is certainly not the first to work with a brewer to commission a beer especially for the race. The esteemed Boston Marathon does it with Sam Adams brewery and the Grand Rapids Marathon in Michigan partners with nearby New Holland Brewing, he said.
Still, race directors and leaders of Two Brothers, which is a sponsor of the race, thought it would be fun to create a drink to be sold in conjunction with the event. Bruce Miller, marketing director for Two Brothers, said 50 kegs of Victory Lap have been brewed so it can be released a couple of weeks before the big day.
"It's nice. It's kind of hoppy and it's got some nice malts in there," Miller said about the blend. "It's a nice ale that we think a lot of people would like at this time of the year and will go well with the end of the race."
Restaurants that are participating in the free post-race beverage program for runners will be the only venues where Victory Lap is sold. Many of those restaurants are in downtown Naperville, such as Quigley's Irish Pub, Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, Rosebud Italian Specialties, The Wise Boxer Pour House, Sullivan's Steakhouse and Q-BBQ, while Aurelio's Pizza outside of the downtown along Route 59 also is participating.