Hong Kong’s 2017 Beer Run is to go ahead without the alcohol, following a flurry of criticism.

Up to 5,000 people were expected to take part in the 1.6km run on November 4 at the Kai Tak cruise terminal. Joggers were to be handed a 330ml glass of beer after every 400 metres, though organisers said on Friday that alcohol will no longer be given out.

Beer Run
Photo: Beer Run, via Facebook.

“[S]ome intense attention over health concern, together with opinions of difference stance [sic], was received from certain groups and personnel, the operation of the event has to be revisited… Runners will not be provided with alcoholic drinks during the run,” a statement from RunOurCity said.

It added that the event intended to “nurture optimism and perseverance” and promote running culture in the city.

Health concerns

Last week, the health department sent a letter to organisers warning that alcohol can cause dehydration, accidents and have an adverse effect on sport performance: “We urge the organiser not to encourage participants to drink when doing sports.”

Beer Run
The 2017 run. Photo: Beer Run, via Facebook.

RunOurCity co-founder Andes Leung told RTHK on Tuesday that he was surprised at the outcry, as the event was held successfully in Hong Kong last year.

The fun runs were first held in the 1990s in Canada.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.