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AleSmith to Host Second Annual Tony Gwynn 5.5K Charity Event

logo_55kEasily the most beloved local sports figure in San Diego history, Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn made a name for himself based off his unflagging drive to constantly improve. So, that is the approach AleSmith Brewing Company has taken in organizing the second-annual Tony Gwynn 5.5K. Taking place on the Saturday before Father’s Day, June 18, the event is a collaboration between the Miramar-based brewery, the Gwynn family and non-profit organization, the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (TAG), with proceeds benefiting the work of the latter to support, train and better the lives of homeless, at-risk and underprivileged people throughout San Diego County. This year’s event figures to be even better than the first, which was a smashing success in its own right.

“Many wonderful things have sprung forth from the work we’ve done here at AleSmith over the past two decades, and one of the best has been forging a true, heartfelt friendship with the Gwynn family,” says AleSmith CEO and owner Peter Zien. “What started as the collaborative development of a beer for Mr. Padre back in 2014, has turned into a close, mutually respectful relationship that’s allowed us to work together with TAG to help fellow San Diegans in need. The Tony Gwynn 5.5K is one of the most fun ways we get to do that, so it’s our pleasure to bring it back as an annual event where people from all walks of life can get together and support TAG’s humanitarian efforts while having a good time and, of course, some good beer, too.”

Open to folks of all ages, and levels of fitness, beer and sports enthusiasm, the Tony Gwynn 5.5K will consist of a race beginning promptly at 8 a.m. For those wanting to take in the sunshine and scenery at a slightly slower pace, there’ll be a walk beginning at 8:15 a.m. Both phases of the event will start and end at AleSmith Brewing Company (9990 AleSmith Court—formerly Empire Street, San Diego, CA 92126). The route will take runners and walkers through the Miramar area (or “Beeramar” for the craft-brew enthusiasts) before returning them to AleSmith for post-race beer, food and general merriment.

But why a 5.5K versus a standard, nicely rounded distance of five kilometers? As fans of Tony Gwynn will remember, he famously nicknamed the portion of the infield between third-base and shortstop (the “4” and “5” positions, respectively) the “5.5 hole” and was fond of placing the ball there during a 20-year career as one of the best pure-hitters in Major League Baseball history. This, like so many elements of the event—the TAG partnership, the presence of the Gwynn Gourmet food-truck at the post-event festivities, the inclusion of Tony’s now-famous San Diego Pale Ale .394 (named after Gwynn’s highest single-season batting average in 1994)—are tips of the cap to our dearly departed friend.

All are invited to join us in paying tribute to one of San Diego’s all-time greatest heroes. Registration for the Tony Gwynn 5.5K is live online at, from now up to the event, and registration levels are as follows:

• Hall of Fame ($95): includes race-bib, commemorative t-shirt, goodie-bag, souvenir pint glass, two (2) post-race beer tickets, 64-ounce copper AleSmith growler and access to the Copper Growler Specialty Fill Club
• Major League ($60): includes race-bib, commemorative t-shirt, goodie-bag, souvenir pint glass and two (2) post-race beer tickets
• Minor League ($45): includes race-bib, commemorative t-shirt, goodie-bag and one (1) post-race beer ticket
• Little League ($10 for kids 10 and under): includes race-bib
• Carpool Package ($45): includes race-bib, commemorative t-shirt, goodie-bag, one (1) post-race beer ticket per person and one (1) VIP parking pass for team’s carpool vehicle

Last year’s inaugural event included 600 runners and walkers. As will occur this year, a portion of proceeds raised from the event went towards the construction of the official Tony Gwynn Museum, which is scheduled to open this summer at AleSmith’s tasting room in time for the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game festivities, which will take place in San Diego during the third week of July. Tony Gwynn 5.5K participants will have the chance to see this impressive memorial structure during the post-race festivities.

Any businesses, organizations or individuals who would like to get involved as event sponsors are welcomed to do so by sending an email to We welcome all who wish to be a part of this charity fundraising effort and continued show of appreciation to a local legend and cherished friend.

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