The 2013 Ames Beer Mile
I certainly enjoy a nice cold beer after a long race…assuming it meets my quality standards, of course. I wouldn’t call myself a beer snob necessarily, but I’ve also moved on from the keg and red solo cup beer of college days past. I’d much rather spend a little more money for a beer that pairs well with whatever I happen to be eating, or one worthy of being enjoyed all by itself. Coors Light fits neither of these requirements. However, I still found myself looking down on four of them as I prepared to chug them before and during a running event. Wait, what? I was fairly certain that the order and quality were very confused, but I proceeded.
I had joked with several friends over the course of the past few months that it would be quite fun and rather humorous to host our own beer mile. For those of you not familiar with the event, I’ll elaborate. The goal is to drink 1 beer prior to running, then drink a beer every quarter of a mile, for a total of four beers in the span of one mile. It should come as no surprise that the beer mile has developed into quite the impressive sub-culture of racing over the years. The most recent world record, as tracked by beermile.com, is 5:04.09, which set in Australia. There are currently 1,606 registered events listed on beermile.com.
My curiosity with the event hadn’t really gotten much past our rambling conversations during runs, but I can always count on my friends to take things one step further! Before I knew it, a local pub had been contacted as a host site, and the invite was sent out on Facebook for anyone interested. The location and course were provided, and everyone was responsible for their own beer (from the pub) which eliminated any liability concerns. We set up shop out on the patio so friends and family could watch, and everyone purchased their four beers of choice and positioned them.
Now, I don’t think I’ve purposefully chugged a beer in well over 10 years, so I was far more nervous about the drinking than I was the running! Although I’d normally rather drink warm bath water than Coors Light, I figured it might be easier to get down so I opted for this sad excuse for a beer (my apologies to any legitimate fans of Coors Light…but seriously, let’s talk about what good beer should taste like!). The signal was sounded and we were off. From the first beer, I am pretty sure I bore a striking resemblance to one of my dogs drinking out of their water bowl as I tried to get it down as fast as possible. I finished and attempted to ignore the sloshing in my stomach as I “sprinted” the first quarter-mile segment. The difficulty getting the beer down only increased with each passing lap, and by the end, I was racing not only to the finish but to keep the beer down as well.
I crossed the finish line near the back of the pack, a testament to my chugging abilities, but the smile was firmly planted on my face. This was certainly not something I’d do on a regular basis. However, the excitement and hilarious memories more than made it worth the time it took to calm my stomach afterwards 🙂 Spending the rest of the evening hanging out with friends over dinner and drinks (i.e. NOT Coors Light) made it a great night and one I’ll look forward to for next year!