I did the Dogfish Dash as a fun run… the day after the Pemberton 24

Scenic view from the Dogfish Dash course, including greenery, water and a blue sky.
I enjoyed this view along this year’s Dogfish Dash course.

This year’s Dogfish Dash wasn’t my typical race. In fact, I really embraced Dogfish Head’s “off-centered” motto.

I’ve run the Dogfish Dash, and its varying distances, every year it’s been held in-person since 2013. It wasn’t held the past two years, so this year’s race, on Sept. 25, was the first one since 2019. It was also the first year the race fell on the same weekend as the Pemberton 24, during which I’d run 40.3 miles from Sept. 23-24.

However, I didn’t want to miss the Dogfish Dash, which is a fun tradition. The race starts and ends at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton. This year, the distance changed to 3.8 miles, and the course was different. I thought this was the most scenic year of the course that I’ve run so far, with a water view, scenic views along Lavinia Street and a rail trail for much of the last mile.

Unfortunately, the Pemberton 24 had left me with some stomach issues the next morning, so I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be able to make it. However, I got there pretty close to the race start, got my bib from my friend who had picked it up, and the race went well, aside from some expected soreness.

View of the road with runners on it, with water to the left.
Here was one of the water views along the Dogfish Dash course.

I didn’t put any pressure on myself for a time. I figured I’d do a run/walk, and I ended up walking just 0.15 mile into the race. I saw Carla, who had also run the Pemberton 24, early on, and did some run/walk intervals with her. We ended up splitting up, and I didn’t do particular intervals but just ran some and walked some, being sure to walk up the hills that were on the course. The backs of my knees especially hurt after the Pemberton 24, because I did a lot of fast walking, and I must not use those muscles too often.

I actually felt like I started to feel a little better as I continued, so once I got to Mile 3, I ran the rest. At the 5K mark, I saw 44:59 on the timer — which was actually faster than most of my 5Ks at the Pemberton 24. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that was based on the chip time, so I was even a little faster than that.

I completed the first mile in 13:11, then did the next one in 14:40 and followed that with a 13:48. However, I stepped it up at the end, running the last 0.8 in an 11:13 pace.

Selfie of Vanessa Junkin and Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione.
Here I am with Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione.

Since I wasn’t going at my usual race pace, I took photos along the course and also shot video clips to make an Instagram reel.

Upon crossing the finish line, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione was there giving fist bumps to everyone. I saw him get a selfie with someone, so I asked him for a selfie, too, and he happily obliged.

The race included two beers for participants, along with a nice shirt, reusable water bottle and tote bag. I hung out with friends afterward, some of whom had also run the Pemberton 24 the previous day. I saw someone along the way I didn’t know who was wearing a Pemberton 24 hat, so I made sure to say something to her about the previous day’s event.

There was also a small buffet for post-race food. I did miss the Fifer’s apple cider doughnuts. I thought Fifer was going to be there, but I didn’t see them. I bought some beer to bring home, and I got an avocado toast on the way out, too.

I had fun at this race, even though it was more of a fun run for me.


Mile 1: 13:11
Mile 2: 14:40
Mile 3: 13:48
Last part (0.8): 9:01 (11:13 pace)
Official Time: 50:37 / 13:19 pace; Watch Time: 50:42 / 13:19 pace

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