The first annual beer mile hosted at and by the Ecliptic Brewery in Portland, OR. Impromptu event but damn glad I did it.
The infamous Atlas Race cancelled their Medford Event 4 days prior to the event day. This pissed me off a little, but I recovered quickly and signed up for this beer mile last minute. I had been training hard for 9 weeks and needed to put myself under pressure again, I needed to compete, even if it was just a beer drinking Sunday fun run.
Well, turned out this fun run was a little more competitive then I imagined. Portland is home to a bunch of very fast runners that have a drinking problem (Nike headquarters). The winner chugged a beer and ran a 4:20 mile. Very nice. One reason I love Portland, crazy people and good beer.
So here’s how the race worked.
50 person relays start on the line. Whistle blows and 50 people each run forward to the “chugging zone” activating their timing chips and have to drink their beer before moving on to the run. The run heads down the hill for 800 meters on Mississippi st., turns around, and finishes with 800 meters of uphill burping glory.
How we did it:
We got there early because I was worried about parking, which wasn’t a problem, and sat around for an hour people watching and trying to wake up. Matt picked out the winners before the race event started. The track tank tops and warm up jogs gave it away.
10 minutes to 9:00 they called for the first relay and I got up front with the track athletes to grab a beer and wait for the start. I learned that 10 minutes is a very long time to hold a cold beer without taking a sip. This was the toughest part of the day.
Matt went to the back of the first relay to chase down a lady running in a skirt and set a PR on the mile.
On the countdown from 5, I set “start” on my Suunto and prepared to chug my beer. When the horn blew we all did a walking chug through the “chug zone”, threw the cups in the garbage to be nice, and took off at a 15 mph downhill sprint (not breathing). I was the first to finish my beer and therefore first on the course. I held on to this place for all of 50 meters until I was passed by the white Kenyan flying past me like I was standing still. Then the burping started. Breathe, burp, breathe, burp, time to turn around and head up the hill. Matt was only seconds behind me at this point and he managed to snap a picture at the turnaround point.
The hill was gradual and climbed only 100 feet in 800 meters. My pace fell back to a 6:00 mile at this point and I was passed by a girl and an older gentleman. This depressed me but once I realized they had surged to pass and I could hang with them, I decided to draft until the last 200m. Once we had sight of the finish line I passed the older man again and got stride for stride with the girl, but both of them had saved a little for the finish and beat me by a few steps across the line.
Matt came in shortly after me and beat his goal of 10:00 with an 8:52 finish.
Overall I was happy with my 5:31 mile (I read 5:36 on my suunto at 0.96 miles but that accounts for the countdown), I figured I would run a 6 or higher. 13th overall is better than I expected considering this is a mile run and speed is still not my thing. I’ll see if I can change that in the future.
The events special beer was weak for my taste but free = good. Their IPA’s inside were great.
We hung around, drank beer, and chatted until the awards ceremony where the tops 3 males and females received medals. There were also gift bags for the top finisher in each age group. I’ll do this again if I am around. Miss. St. has seems to have a lot happening.
Next challenge: do the “real” beer mile with some PBR at the local track.