Running Shop Owner Chases Down Much Slower Vandal

Huntington, W.Va.

For weeks, employees of Robert’s Running and Walking Shop in Huntington were scared and extremely inconvenienced by ongoing incidents of their car windows being shot by a pellet gun.

Earlier this fall, though, a shop employee caught a suspect in the act, witnessing a man shooting car windows parked at an insurance office across the street. The employee notified shop owner Robert Smith, who darted out the door along with another employee Ryan Smith (no relation). Suspect Robert Coffman tried to run away, but considering where he’d been vandalizing, the pursuit didn’t last long. “At the time I guess we weren’t laughing, but it seemed pretty comical,” Smith told new station WSAZ. “He was being chased by probably some of the best runners in the state.”

After quickly catching Coffman and restraining him, Smith and Smith waited until police arrived. The police ended up finding drugs in Coffman’s apartment, so according to the news station he was charged with destruction of property.

Brewery Sends Canned Water to Flood Victims

Columbia, S.C.

The folks at Oskar Blues Brewery know how devastating floodwaters can be. In 2013, heavy rains ravaged the longstanding brewery’s home base of Lyons, Colorado, and the town has since been rebuilding. So earlier this fall the brewery, known as the first to offer craft beer in cans, sent 1,600 cases of canned drinking water to flood victims in South Carolina, where heavy rains caused damage throughout the state. Oskar Blues sent the cans through its own CAN’d Aid Foundation, which helps communities dealing with the effects of extreme weather events.

In more brewery philanthropy news, Georgia-based Sweetwater Brewing Co. is currently donating proceeds from sales of its line of fly fishing rods and flies and related swag to Project Healing Waters, a non-profit organization that takes disabled veterans on fly fishing and other water-based recreation trips for therapeutic purposes. The brewery’s Healing for the Holidays program will last through the holiday season.

Start the Year with a Polar Plunge

Need a baptism of renewal as you head into 2016? Start the year with a Polar Plunge, an annual rite of passage for many on New Year’s Day and the following weeks that simply entails jumping into a freezing body of water with some like-minded brave souls. On January 1, plenty of plunges will be taking place around the region, including the shiver-inducing soak within North Carolina’s Hickory Nut Gorge at the Lake Lure New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. There’s also the Polar Pony Plunge, which sends swimmers into the chilly waters of the Atlantic on Virginia’s Chincoteague Island. Later in the month the daring will plunge into the frigid waters of Chetola Lake in the North Carolina High Country at the Blowing Rock Winterfest on January 30. In February there’s also a Polar Plunge Festival that takes place throughout Virginia with chances to jump in Virginia Beach, Richmond, Dumfries and a dip in the New River at Bisset Park in Radford. More info: polarplunge.com

Beyond the Blue Ridge

Backcountry Bar—Winter Park, Colo.

Upslope Brewing Company decided to make customers earn their first taste of its fall seasonal Oktoberfest Lager. Back in September the first pints of the brew were poured exclusively at a pop-up bar in the mountains that could only be reached via a 2.3-mile hike. Unveiled as part of Upslope’s limited Tap Room Series, Oktoberfest was available at what the brewery called its Backcountry Tap Room, set up at the High Lonesome Hut located just outside of Winter Park and surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest.

Much Ado at Fall Marathons

The fall marathon season yielded quite a few interesting tidbits. In Chicago, 42-year-old Deena Kastor posted a new U.S. Masters record time, finishing the race in 2:27:47. And 80-year-old local Frank Abramic running his 17th straight Chicago Marathon.

Earlier in the month, runner Bryan Morseman won his 30th career marathon at the Wineglass Marathon in upstate New York eight days after winning the Mill Race Marathon in Columbus, Indiana. Morseman runs races to help cover his son’s ongoing medical costs for spina bifida treatments.

And Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys ran the New York Marathon on November 1, an effort she was undertaking to raise money for Keep a Child Alive, a nonprofit that assists young HIV patients in Africa.