Luke’s Locker sales associate Bree Redwine, organizer of Luke’s Pint Striders, sponsored by the premier running store’s SMU location, dragged a 60-quart Igloo cooler and heavy, wheeled suitcase up the steps to the uptown British Beverage Company, a destination sports bar for the start and end of the club’s weekly Katy Trail run.
After the 3–6-mile Thursday run, Pint Striders regularly participate in a random raffle. That evening lucky ticket holders picked up a 6-pack, beer stein, and bag of eucalyptus Epsom salt. But the loudest screams of delight were for the restaurant and clothing gift cards.
Redwine organizes race events like teams for the 200-mile Ragnar Relay, fundraiser runs like for the Dallas Arboretum, and raffles to keep the 550 club members on her email list motivated to come out and train. On Nov. 2, Luke’s Pint Striders will host a Thanksgiving Pumpkin Beer Bash. Participants that night will get a free Ballast Point Brewing Company pumpkin-flavored beer. “But they have to do a Katy Trail run and bring canned goods for the North Texas Food Bank,” Redwine stressed.
Races, good causes, and raffle giveaways only go so far. Strong personal motivations prompt Pint Striders to stick with what Redwine calls “a diverse running group of all paces, ages, ethnic, and social backgrounds.”
Newcomer Ukrainian software engineer Volodymyr Frolov, 31, came “to find people to do sports together.”
Angela Holdridge, 37, a travel consultant, said, “You can think of many reasons not to go to the gym, but you feel obligated to show for friends.”
“My girlfriend complained about my weight,” said UT Southwestern surgical resident and restaurant-goer, Ryan Vela, 30, now 20 pounds lighter.
The “camaraderie and work out” keep personal banker Kathryn Treece, 44, coming back. “I love the socializing,” said Andrew Prybylowski, a sales professional, 23. Marathoner and real estate developer Cecilio Escamilla, 59, finds social runs “an antidote to hard training.” For others, the runs provide encouragements to train harder. Financial analyst Jim Huang, 36, cut his race pace by 2 minutes a mile.
Bree Redwine is the heart and breath behind the Pint Striders. When she took it over in March of 2014, Redwine said, “I was so scared. I thought I would bomb.” To the contrary. She had spent her life preparing for this responsibility. The daughter of a successful carpet store owner, she grew up along the Houston waterfront as a cross-country runner with a mom who ran 12 miles daily on the track.
She graduated from Bauder College with a B.A. in fashion merchandise and honed her marketing skills at apparel companies like Esprit, Girbaud (now The Limited), and Under Armour. When she applied for an opening at Luke’s Locker, co-founder Sharon Lucas remembers, “She exhibited high energy, enthusiasm, and you could just feel she had a real love of people. It was an easy decision.”
Bree Redwine is not worried about Luke’s Pint Striders growing too big. “If it gets bigger, it’s good for the running community.”