This is what I was going to say last, but I want to say it first – If you want to, you should run one – it’s fun, with friends, and beer! What’s no to like?
This is coming at you a little late. But, the memory is still fresh, like a just popped can of beer.
July Fourth in New Jersey this year wasn’t looking too bangin’. On July third a hailstorm whipped through dropping golf ball, and I mean you could have teed these up and driven them, sized hail and leaving much of the trees in my town looking like they had been napalmed(sidenote: we filled a cooler full of them and used it to chill beer for the rest of the weekend – pretty awesome). Right on the tails of that, violent thunderstorms settled in overnight and brought the forecast of a mostly rainy Fourth.
Fortunately my sister, our friends Rob and Alex, and their intrepid German pointer Emma are the up for anything types, and they were all for a beer mile in the rain. If you don’t know what a beer mile is, check out http://www.beermile.com. But here’s a quick rundown -find a track, buy some beer, chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap, chug a beer, run a lap, finish. There are some nuances, but that’s basically it.
The morning of the Fourth we packed up the cars, braced ourselves against the weather, bought some beer and headed to my high school track. Katie and Peter were kind enough to stand around in the rain giving us beers, cheer, and watch us do our thing.
I popped the tab on my first beer and chugged away and then headed off on my first quarter mile. – 1:35. I downed beer two pretty well, just a touch slower, and then clocked another solid split – -around 1:45. Beer three took a bit, maybe two minutes to drink – my stomach felt like a percolating broth of frothy beer – which is exactly what it was. However, lap three still wasn’t bad – around 1:45 again. Coming onto the straight away I started feeling the three beers I had had in under 10 minutes hit me and the finish line seemed so very far away, and kind of off kilter. Beer four was a lesson in patience. I’d say it took me 5 or so minutes to get it down, but when I did my throat felt like it was seizing up. I started running and still clocked a decent split, again around 1:45 – I finished overall in about 14 minutes, far short of my great expectations I had had at the start. I crossed the finish line – -traditionally after a long race and hard effort I dry heave – and I could feel this one happening this go around, but…not dry. I’ll let your imagination fill in the rest. The others did not do an ‘official’ beer mile – but they ran and drank beers in the rain, so they’re champions
in my book.
So, here’s the thing – -a beer mile is overall a miserable experience. You feel physically shot and all you did was run a mile and you’ve got a solid buzz on if not being actually drunk. And I immediately swore off doing one again. But, like the allure and challenge of the marathon, now that the pain has subsided, I can imagine doing another – but I’d remember these lessons:
1: Respect the beer, the running is easy – the beer is not.
Sub lesson: Don’t buy a beer known throughout the universe as the “Champagne of Bottled Beers”. That means it’s going to have bubbles, lot and lots of bubbles.
2: I wouldn’t do it at 11am. Then your drunk by noon and it takes a long time to regroup.
Those are actually the only two lessons I have. But, should you be considering this yourself – drink a familiar beer that you know you can drink en masse, don’t experiment. Have a designated driver, or drivers. Run at a track at a time where you’re not going to be bothering the general public or where children will be present. Have water handy. Have mint or gum readily available, you know just in case you spew.
If you’re on Instagram, I highly suggest searching for beer mile pictures, a litany of people vomiting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.