Don’t judge a man till you’ve run a mile in his shoes… While drinking 4 beers.

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So I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog. And it’s been awhile since I’ve done any competitive racing. But today I made my triumphant return to the world of multi-sport racing. Today I ran my first Beer Mile.

Wait.

Knock that shit off.

No, I know what you just did. You snickered. And/or you rolled your eyes.

This is a real thing. With real rules.

Here’s how it works. You start at the starting line (duh) and slam a beer. This part I practiced for. I hadn’t slammed a beer since college and, as any 1989 Saint John’s University grad can tell you, I was terrible at it. So I tried it a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised by my 22-second time. (I’ll pause here for 22 or more seconds while you go grab a beer and try that for yourself.)

Then you run a quarter mile loop back to that starting line where, if someone truly loves you, she’s there waiting with cheerful words of encouragement and another freshly opened cold beer. (If no one loves you, then you just grab a beer off the picnic table like some high-energy hobo.) And you slam it. This one I hadn’t practiced. And that realization dawned on me as I was puffing and wheezing my way back into the transition area and seeing that I needed to control my breathing in order to suck down 12 more ounces of beer.

It’s worth noting here that we weren’t prancing around the loop sharing super-low-carb Michelob Ultras. The event sponsor was Summit Brewing and we were gladly guzzling delicious cans of Summit Extra Pale Ale. This was not an event for wimps.

Second beer slam was rough. And there was a lot of belching on that third lap. I was pleasantly surprised to note though that the third and fourth beer/lap didn’t get any rougher than the second.

I kept to my initial strategy: focus on the beer and do the best you can on the laps. (They’re only a quarter mile, right?) And don’t puke. If you throw up you have to run a penalty lap.

I powered through the first beer and was third out of transition. I got passed by a couple of overly ambitious contestants (looking at you here, Joel), but caught them up in transition with my beer-drinking skillz.

Mike Houghton took an early lead and never looked back. Kudos, Houghton.

That left Andy Zabel and I (if he didn’t want his name plastered all over the interwebs he shouldn’t have had it plastered all over his spandex) to battle for second.

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While Andy was sleek and svelte and well-conditioned, I felt certain I could drink him under the table. And so it seemed on our second and third beers. I would beat him out of transition, but he would catch me on the lap. On that fourth beer, however, Andy found that extra gear, powered down his beer and beat me out of transition. I knew I’d never catch him on the run.

The only drama on my final lap was whether or not I’d manage to lap Eric Nacey. (Close, but, for the record, I didn’t.)

Third place.

A podium finish. For my first Beer Mile, I’ll take that.

So let me say thank you to Corinne for being my inspiration, my beer-opener, and my sober ride home. Let me say thank you to Brandon and the House of Pizza – my favorite bar, my favorite restaurant, my team sponsor – for organizing this internationally sanctioned event. If you hold a second annual, I’ll be there. And let me conclude by noting to my beloved-but-over-confident daughter, Erin, THERE’S NO WAY YOU’LL BEAT ME IF YOU RUN THIS THING NEXT YEAR. But I love you.

 

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