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Hudepohl 14K resumes, testing waters for other Cincinnati races

CINCINNATI — Two thousand runners will hit the streets of Cincinnati on Saturday morning for the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run, an Oktoberfest race that organizers see as a dress rehearsal for the city’s other famous races.

“We’re going to see how it all works,” said John Cappella, whose organization PigWorks puts together the Hudepohl every fall and the Flying Pig every spring. “How we can still effectively get people through a course and make sure there’s a level of social distancing.”

It’ll be among the first large-scale, in-person races held in Cincinnati since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced PigWorks to modify or cancel its largest events in 2020.

The novel coronavirus is still a threat — a serious one. But Cappella said PigWorks hopes the Hudepohl will be an opportunity to hold an in-person race that protects its runners and accommodates social distancing concerns.

Runners will have 30 minutes to start, rather than the usual 10, to ensure they can space themselves out and not run closer to other participants than they’re comfortable doing. Participation was capped at 2,000 runners.

“(The race) will bring a lot of joy,” he said. “Bring a lot of relief, probably, as well, but I think just fun. That's what we've been known for at all of our events."

Frank DeJulius, whose business Fleet Feet Cincinnati caters to many of the runners who will hit the street on Saturday, said he’s excited to see the fall running season resume.

“We're lucky and feel honored that people want to come into our stores, get some advice, get some new gear, and get moving,” he said. “I firmly believe that the worst is behind us. The best is yet to come."

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