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Los Guapos Trail Runners, from left, Elena Ibarra, Dave Hyman, Amber Self, Scott Johnston and Jennifer Jacobs. Photo by David Boylan
Columns Lick the Plate

Lick the Plate: Running, drinking and eating with Los Guapos Trail Runners

If you have been reading Lick the Plate for any amount of time, you are probably aware that I’ve always tried to balance being an athlete and, well, a plate licker with a thirst for an occasional beer. Good thing for the athletic part, and it’s still a mix I strive for.

Running and drinking go way back but was formally organized around 1938 by a group of British soldiers who called themselves “Hash House Harriers.”  It’s a fascinating history that I would encourage you to read up on. My brother Michael Boylan, a former distance guy, track coach and Harrier participant gave me a thorough education on it.

In a nutshell, their mantra is to promote physical fitness, get rid of weekend hangovers and acquire a good thirst and satisfy it with a beer, sometimes in large quantities.

I came across a local group of like-minded but less hard-core folks who call themselves the Los Guapos Trail Runners (LGTR) who frequent area breweries post-run and add some food to the mix. I asked a few of them to take over the column this week and they gladly obliged.

I’ll start out with Amber Self, who organized this and is part of the family that owns Sunshine Gardens in Encinitas.

“I am picking Culver Beer Co and they are located in Carlsbad. I picked them because they have a really good Mexican Lager that is especially great after a run! They also have a deli inside their brewery called Locally Toasted. My go-to sandwich is their Quitting Cold Turkey and if I want something a little different, I’ll get their Pesto Turkey sandwich. It’s always a bonus to get good food after the run too.” Thanks, Amber, a new discovery for me!

Scott Johnston is a local mortgage broker and also part of the LGTRs. Given that their trail runs are usually in Vista or San Marcos, his pick is Belching Beaver in Vista.

“I like the large outside area with chairs, fire pits and games and beer and food can be ordered at the counter outside. It’s also dog and kid-friendly. I prefer a hoppy West Coast-style single IPA and their Hop Highway does the trick. It’s a West Coast IPA style, which originally put San Diego on the map as a craft brew paradise.

“I’m a pescatarian so I like places which have good vegetarian and fish options, which they do. The fried cauliflower and leeks with honey ponzu, fried Brussels sprouts with cherry balsamic and blue cheese, fish taco or Mahi burrito, and any of their salads, are all spot on. I run between 30 and 80 miles a week, so what I put in my body has to be worthy of my effort.”

I don’t run nearly that far but still agree with the concept. Thanks, Scott!

Jennifer Jacobs met her husband in this group six years ago and they are still going at it together. With twin toddlers, they still love spending their date nights with the Guapos.

“My favorite after-run spot is Wild Barrel Brewing in San Marcos, which seems to excel in every beer style. I gravitate toward their Hazy IPAs, which are perfectly balanced and juicy. Since I eat mostly vegan, eating at the breweries can be a challenge.

“I love to eat at the vegan pop-up Harmless Eats after a run, which was at Raging Mead and Cider most Friday nights. Their buffalo “chickn” sandwich with a refreshing cider is the perfect reward for a grueling run.”

I really need to get up to speed on some of these breweries … they sound fabulous, thanks Jenn.

Systems Administrator and leader of the Guapo’s Elena Ibarra had a hard time narrowing her breweries down with all the solid options. She made it happen though.

“One brewery that comes to mind is Aztec Brewery (in Vista) as they often have local musicians and food trucks in the parking lot. Close to this brewery is a pizza spot called Leucadia Pizzeria and when there are no food trucks, we all like to pitch in and order some delicious pizza.

“A couple of our favorites are Margherita for our vegetarian runners and the Meat Combo pizza for the meat-eaters. We usually dance or sing depending on the music. I’ve tried most of their beers, but a couple of my favorites are Hibiscus Wheat and Macaroon Nut Brown.”

I’m a big fan of Leucadia Pizzeria, Elena!

Realtor Dave Hyman wraps things up by taking a more people-focused approach to his content.

“When you run with friends, it’s a free feeling combined with camaraderie and a sense of healthiness. When you run with Los Guapos, you get to throw in a touch of culture, good conversation and a couple of pints of beer. We Guapos try to keep it interesting by visiting a different microbrewery after each of our Friday runs. In North County, there’s no lack of them, but we do repeat a few, time after time.

“One of our favorite repeats is Indian Joe Brewing, in Vista. The beer quality is great and there’s every type of brew, the atmosphere is intimate yet spacious, the food truck is first class and to top off the experience, they have live music upstairs. Friday nights rock.”

I like your style, Dave.

For more information on Los Guapos Trail Runners, search their group on Facebook at Los Guapos Trail Run.

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