30-somethings bond over running, beer

Crispy Bois Jogging Club members from left, Luca Bulthuis, Daniel Wallace, Casey Cole, Mark Johnson and Matthew Rust pose with their medals shortly after finishing the half-marathon Saturday in Columbus. James Pence | The Republic

When some runners finish a marathon, half-marathon or 5K race, they have either a drink of water, Gatorade or Powerade.

That’s not the case for the Crispy Bois Jogging Club. Their choice of drink after running: beer. The term “crispy boy” derives from a beer kept in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator.

It’s a tradition for members Matthew Rust, Luca Bulthuis, Daniel Wallace, Mark Johnson and Casey Cole to head out to a nearby brewery and catch a cold one after a long practice jog or a race.

The group was formed a few months ago by Rust, who knew the other four members, and started meeting on Sundays at the Bartholomew County Public Library near the “Large Arch.” They are mostly non-athletic, non-runners who were mostly strangers to each other. But, they all shared a common bond of being fathers in their 30s and competing in their first half-marathon.

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The jogging every week also has helped the guys shed a little bit of weight and stay physically active. They would increase the length of the jog until they were approaching half-marathon territory.

The group loosely discussed trying a half-marathon together. Once the first person signed up for Saturday’s half-marathon, the others eventually wanted to participate in the half-marathon as a group.

“Mark and I signed up for the half, so we were training for the half,” Rust said. “We weren’t even training (as a group) for it in June, we were just getting together to run.”

Outside of jogging, they also have day jobs. Rust works as an adviser for Kessler Investment Group, Johnson is a mechanical designer for Faurecia, Bulthuis is an engineer for Cummins, Wallace mainly works as a developer and Cole is a composer and runs a website called sparrowsleeps.com, which is named after his daughter Sparrow.

As Saturday’s race went on, it seemed like the half marathon got longer and longer with no end in sight for them, but right as they crossed the finish line they were proud of themselves for completing such a huge challenge in a short amount of time.

“I personally liked setting a goal and achieving it,” Johnson said. “It feels good, especially putting in a lot of work. It wasn’t like we just ran a mile or so, we put a lot of miles in and in one of the hottest summers, too.”

Cole says he has came a long way since starting the weekly jog.

“I couldn’t go two miles without gassing, and that run was four miles,” Cole said. “Now going over 13 miles is amazing. I don’t think it has really hit me yet.”

The Crispy Bois Jogging Club hopes to add more members when they plan to participate next year. They’ve also considered participating in half-marathons across the state, including the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November.