Running fanatic Matthew Krichman had an idea: a half marathon through the Colorado countryside ending with a craft beer festival ion downtown Durango – otherwise known as the Thirsty 13.

“When runners are looking for races to run there are two things that stand out,” he said. “One is the course and the other is the post race celebration.”

The race director connected with Tim Walsworth, director of Durango business improvement district, who coordinates the San Juan Brew Festival, where more than 50 craft beer makers come together to share their suds, and the two hit it off. Runners, meet brewers.

“There are a lot of things unique about the course,” Krichman said. “It’s a point to point course, with two long stretches of road that no other race uses. It’s beautiful, and it ends literally right smack in the middle of a brewery.”

At the finish line, at Ska Brewing’s World Headquarters, racers can grab their T-shirts and a cold one before heading off to the festival in Durango’s Buckley Park, where some 2000 craft beer enthusiasts sip brew on the grass.

“We’ve never sold out in 16 years,” Walsworth said. “And last year we sold out of everything.”

Not only is the festival good to downtown’s economy, but proceeds benefit the United Way of Southwest Colorado. Last year, Walsworth handed them a check for $20,000.

Krichman pointed out it starts at a church and ends at a brewery. It’s all down hill from there, literally. The run drops 1,400 feet over the course.

The race starts at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, August 29. Last year a storm moved over the course, but didn’t rustle a feather.

“There’s always a chance of rain that day, but drinking beer in the rain is fun,” Krichman said. “It wouldn’t keep my runners away.”