Harlowton-Ryegate assistant track coach Drew Galahan has always had a passion for running.
Galahan was an integral part of Harlowton’s 2009 State C track title, winning the 800- and 1,600-meter runs and anchoring the winning 1,600-meter relay team.
Galahan then ran collegiately at MSU Billings where he was an all-GNAC performer. The assistant coaching gig for the Engineers’ track team wasn’t something Galahan had envisioned out of college, but he’s right where he belongs.
“It was totally random. I wouldn’t say necessarily homesick, but after getting what I thought was my dream job and doing that for several years and getting burnt out actually pretty quickly in the finance industry, I just wanted to get home, slow down and do some of the other things I was passionate about," Galahan said. "After moving back here, maybe a year after being back, the head coach at the time was Alli Jones and she just kind of casually asked, ‘Hey, do you want to come run with our distance kids?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, sure. That sounds fun.’"
Galahan was initially an investment officer in Billings for a handful of years before deciding to move back to his hometown to help revitalize his community.
“It was a good job, started saving up some money. Of course came home to Harlo for Fourth of July, all the fun stuff. But it just felt like Harlo never had the same energy that I remembered growing up. That was always kind of a letdown coming home and seeing that," he said. "Just after talking for a couple of years about what’s something we could do to maybe bring some life back in to Harlo, my brother-in-law and myself, who were kind of messing around brewing at the time, brewing in our kitchens, messing around in the basement or whatever, thought, ‘Well, maybe we can get sort of good at brewing and open up a brewery.’ So that’s sort of how it started, just to fill a need here in Harlowton.”
But how exactly does a guy with the running prowess of Galahan balance that with beer?
“I think it works," Galahan said with a laugh. "I think craft beer and a long run go pretty well together. You need the calories right afterwards. It’s like chocolate milk, except for beer. When I’m done running I crave a big, heavy, dark beer. I think it’s the calorie deficit after a big run. You’re just so hungry and thirsty, and a beer kind of covers both of those.”
To make things more complicated, Galahan hasn’t had a beer in several months. Typically after runs, he’d quench his thirst with a cold brew. But he’s been training to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which ultimately has let his beer mug get dusty.
“I turned 30 this year, so I was like, ‘Well, I’ve got to go do something.’ Qualify for Boston, whatever it is. That was a big part of it, but I’ve heard from all my running friends that it’s just the coolest experience ever to get that qualification and go to Boston and run there," Galahan said.
Galahan ran in the Whitefish Marathon back on May 22 and finished second in the men’s division, but he came up just seconds short of hitting the mark needed to qualify for the Boston Marathon. With fire season looming, Galahan said he may not be able to take another crack at qualifying until late this year or early next year.