McGregor Mug Run & International Beer Festival steps up game in sixth year


By Jolene Perron

With a big name presenting sponsor on their side, the McGregor Mug Run and International Beer Festival was able to not only attract an additional 120 registered runners this year, bringing them just shy of the 300 mark, but they also brought a headlining country band to their stage, amounting to what the event coordinator called “the best year by far.”

While the hot weather had a bit of a toll on the running portion of the event, and only saw 238 finishers, event coordinator Ryan Raymond said they had about 750 people, which is a significant increase to last year’s 580.

Despite the steamy temperatures and beating sun, the McGregor Mug Run brought out over 300 runners Saturday to run and raise money for Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario.

The event, which started only six years ago, started small with what Raymond calls “a controlled growth.”

“For the first couple of years we just dipped our toes, make sure we knew what we were doing, so that when it comes to something like this that we are fully set and hopefully no surprises. We just slowly grew it,” explained Raymond. “I just wanted this to be this huge race in 10 years where people would said ‘What? McGregor has 5,000 people running?’ that’s what I want to build it up to, to have this big crazy event that people ask ‘McGregor Ontario? That little town?’”

The event was based out of Co-An Park.

The event brought together 12 breweries, both local and from out of town. The event added LIUNA625 as a presenting sponsor, who Raymond credits for allowing them to have country star Eric Ethridge take the stage Saturday evening. At the end of it all, all of the proceeds raised at the event will benefit Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario.

Amy Crowelle, Brendon Basher, Hugh Price and David Price enjoy cold beers at the McGregor Mug Run and International Beer Festival Saturday.

“We raised a total of $3,450 for Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario this year,” said Raymond. “This was in big part because of my sister Kristy Raymond who organized a charity dinner at the K of C and worked with The epilepsy Southwestern Ontario to run a 50/50 draw that brought in $450 for both the winner and the charity.”
New this year was also the shuttle service provided by Amherstburg Chevrolet Buick GMC, which Raymond said was very well received.

“This is by far the best year. The set up is amazing, the runners are phenomenal, the breweries are amazing, the bands are amazing, the food trucks are awesome, it’s just a really awesome year.”

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