Dean Copps once went for a run when the thermostat read 13 degrees below zero.
So running Tuesday night, when the temperature hovered around 11 degrees, was no big deal.
About 25 people dressed in reflective, fluorescent outfits braved the cold and snow to run in the first Tuesday night pub run at Sidelines Sports Pub and Grill in Janesville.
Pub runs have been offered in Madison and Milwaukee for years, organizer Shilo Titus said. He wanted to give Janesville runners an opportunity to run together while learning about upcoming events and organizations.
Tuesday’s run featured representatives from the Madison Mini-Marathon, Fleet Feet shoes and Wisconsin Brewing Company.
Madison Mini-Marathon reps promoted their event, while Fleet Feet reps fitted people for running shoes. The brewing company offered free beer to participants after their 4-mile trek on Wuthering Hills Drive.
Beer might not make runners faster, but it does help people socialize, Titus said.
Runners of all experience levels are welcome to join the group, he said.
Tuesday’s route started at Sidelines and followed Wuthering Hills Drive to Milwaukee Street, where runners turned around and came back. Titus said it’s an easy course that is “impossible” to get lost on, which makes it appealing for the runs.
Those looking to avoid hills opted for a slightly shorter path around the Janesville Youth Sports Complex baseball diamonds.
People often ask Titus why he runs when it’s freezing outside.
Runners never know what weather conditions they will face when they sign up for a race, he said. He and other runners practice in all kinds of weather so they’ll be prepared.
The key to winter running is layers, Titus said. His usual winter outfit includes waterproof shirts and pants, a jacket, one or two pairs of gloves and a couple of hats.
Copps said he usually doesn’t feel the cold after the first mile.
After years of running solo, Copps started joining groups such as the pub run and has never looked back.
“Running by yourself stinks after this,” he said.
Titus wants to create a comfortable environment for people to join the group and make friends. Everyone can benefit from the runs, he said.
“Getting outside and fresh air is key to mental stability,” Titus said.
Tuesday night pub runs will be offered once a month with new organizations attending each time.
The next one is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 6.