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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.

Run at your own risk!

Run at your own risk!

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.

Sitting out to warm up a bit!

Sitting out to warm up a bit!

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.

All smiles at the finish!

All smiles at the finish!

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!

A great way to spend a Saturday night!

A great way to spend a Saturday night!

Beer Run!

After an extreme endurance challenge, I had no intentions of over-exerting myself the following weekend. In effect, I’m in tapering mode again as I prepare for the Northface 50K in Kansas City on November 17th. Luckily, as I have mentioned many times before, I have some amazing friends who like to mix things up during our regular group runs. Thus, it seemed like perfect timing when a good friend announced his plans for a beer run during our regular Saturday morning group run. The result was another in a series of great running memories!

A great mid-run refueling stop!

The idea was pretty simple. Various folks volunteered to host beer/water stops and a route was crafted accordingly. I volunteered our house as a beer stop, as did five other friends. In all, we were able to cobble together a great 9-mile route. We met @ 7:30AM (its 5 O’Clock somewhere, right?) and cracked open a few beers before we headed out. We made two more stops, and then ended up at our house. I was trying my best to ration my consumption, as well as make sure I drink some water, but it was still a strange feeling to be drinking that early in the morning! I may work in a university setting, but it’s still been a decade since my undergraduate days 🙂

As luck would have it, Iowa State was playing a home football game with an 11AM kickoff. Several folks in our group are avid tailgaters, so we were able to stop by for a few more drinks, as well as some great tailgating food. We poured our shots, and toasted to good friends and great runs!

To al the miles we’ve yet to run!

Now, I can’t say that I plan on incorporating alcohol into my training plan, but it was certainly a fun experience! Running can become monotonous if you aren’t changing your routes, times, races, and training. However, I am quite confident that with great friends, running will never be boring! Next stop- organizing our own official beer mile 🙂

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