by Danielle Doolen
Content Marketing Manager at Work For Your Beer
Energetic. Motivating. Running Enthusiast.
These are just a few of the words you could use to describe Carla Garrison-Mattos.
You've likely seen her smiling face running all around Charlotte (literally), serving up beer, or better yet, sipping on some brews at NoDa Brewing.
Her energy is contagious, and she's guaranteed to motivate you to run your heart out at NoDa Run Club. She's even known to paint some sweet paintings and murals in Charlotte.
Carla Garrison-Mattos is everything we love about the Work For Your Beer community.
Read on to learn more about Carla and how she's impacting Charlotte's running (and brewery) scene.
Age: A proud 38!
Occupation: Bartender, Artist, and Run Club Director for NoDa Brewing Co.
Neighborhood in Charlotte: NoDa (North End, to be precise)
How long have you been a runner?
How long have you been the NoDa Brewing Run Club Coordinator?
Going on three years now.
What made you want to lead the NoDa Brewing Run Club?
I have been regularly running with the NoDa Run Club since 2011 (before I worked for NoDa), and it is the very first run club I ever participated in.
When I started out running, I realized that running with the promise of beer at the end was much more motivating than just running around the block, so I fell in love with the idea of a brewery run.
Then I began working at NoDa as a bartender in 2015, and they were in need of a new, energetic Run Club Coordinator. Suzie (our owner) believed that I was just the crazy runner girl to do it, and I agreed!
What gets you excited to run?
Lots of things! Running with friends, hearing a motivational song come on the radio, a fun race, a bad day (running is a big time stress reliever for me), a beautiful day... I could go on and on, really.
What’s your favorite thing about running -- and more specifically, running with the NoDa Brewing Run Club?
It would definitely be the sense of community that you get through running. Especially with Run Club, you meet so many new people every week, and all of those people have at least one thing in common (the running thing). So, you have a great place to start when it comes to starting a conversation!
I also love how supportive all runners are with each other. No matter the pace, everyone is out there to lift each other up and help others to succeed. It’s such a positive sport! You see it at run clubs and at races: the positivity and encouraging feedback that even a stranger will give you if you look like you’re struggling. I feel like running brings out the good in everyone.
What is the most challenging part of running for you?
I think running is challenging for different reasons, depending on how you’re feeling that day. Sometimes I struggle with endurance, but other days I feel like I could run 100 miles. Some days I feel like I’m wearing lead boots and my pace suffers, and sometimes I bound through the streets like a gazelle.
I’d say the most consistent struggle for me, though, is cross-training so that I can run. I suffer from a bad hip and I know that cross training will help with that, but I’d much rather go for a run than hit the gym, so that is an ongoing mental battle for me.
What is your favorite type of exercise or workout (in addition to running)?
Although I don’t do much more than run, I do enjoy yoga very much (although I don’t practice it nearly as much as I should).
I also like cycling classes, my favorite is at First Wind Cycle -- they have some really cool classes that pair cycling with either barre or circuit training, so it keeps it interesting.
What is the most challenging type of exercise or workout for you?
Lifting weights. I get bored of that really fast.
What do you want people to know about NoDa Run Club?
I’m most excited about this upcoming year -- we have so much planned for 2018!
We will be offering BOTH Sunday AND Wednesday Run Clubs starting in March, we have 10 amazing runners that will be serving as 2018 NoDa Run Club Ambassadors, we have launched The Pursuit of Hoppiness which is a year long raffle where the winner will get to brew their own beer with our head brewer Chad Henderson, we are getting ready to announce a “Sunday Runday Guest Host” opportunity (stay tuned for details), and so much more.
I believe this will be our best year yet!
What’s one thing you would want to tell somebody who was considering attending a brewery run club?
Come on out!!! We have runners of all paces and distances, so there is no pressure to be the fastest or best runner. Everyone is encouraging and welcoming, so no need to feel intimidated at all. Plus there’s beer at the end, so BONUS!
What’s your go-to song on your running playlist?
Right now it is "Can’t Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake -- gets me moving every time!
What kind of shoes do you love to run in?
Altra Torin! Love them so much!!!
What’s your favorite beer in Charlotte?
NoDa Brewing Co. beer, of course! If I had to choose just one, it would be either Hot Pistol, Captain Peanut Butter’s Chocolate Revenge, or Coco Loco... okay, I can’t choose just one.
When attending run club, is it better to treat yourself to beer before or after you the run?
Everyone is different, but I can’t drink prior to a run, otherwise I feel a little bogged down. I’ve met quite a few runners who love a pre-run beer though -- they swear by it!
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