Friday, October 3, 2014

the beer mile

Always late, but worth the wait...well hopefully.

For the sake of my dwindling attention span, I will dive right in to my most recent shenanigans because I know you're all dying to hear about the (dun dun DUN...) beer mile.

Let me preface by explaining what exactly a beer mile is, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of participating in such an event. The beer mile is the ultimate test of stamina and stupidity, an equal playing field for runners of any ability or gender to be crowned the world's fastest alcoholic.

The beer mile is run on a 400m track, traditionally not on a high school campus seeing as how the encouragement of underaged drinking is generally frowned upon. Thankfully (?) Seattle is home to a smorgasbord on independent tracks located in local parks. This way you can drink, run and puke at your favorite family-friendly park instead.

It works like this:

Chug a beer.
Run a lap.
Chug a beer.
Run another lap.
Chug a beer.
Run a lap.
Chug a beer and...you guessed it
Run a lap.

The beer mile even has rules as outlined by the official governing body, Beermile.com. Your beer of choice must be 12oz and have an alcohol content of at least 5%. The race is a true mile, not just a 1600m run, so the track must be marked accordingly. There is a transition zone of 10 meters where competitors must consumed the entire beverage before embarking on the lap that follows. And finally, should you lose your Budweiser at any point before the mile is completed, you must run an additional lap (but no more beers are required). These are the rules of the beer mile, and they are unflinchingly rigid.

I opted to run my event with Schillings Cider, running a whopping 6.5% alcohol,  which I now find will likely disqualify my time from the leaderboard (see "unflinchingly rigid rules" at beer mile.com).

Anywho, there was about a dozen of us who decided to accept the challenge, and about the same number of people who came out to simply watch the show. For the record, I am a staunch non-drinker. Not because I am anti-alcohol, but rather because my body seems to be... a point that was indeed confirmed throughout the evening.

We toed the line, drinks in hand, and the chugging began at the sound of "Go!" I was second off the line, and took to my first lap at an easy pace. Soon as the others had finished their first drinks, they were off like rockets. At least 5 or 6 runners blew by me in the first lap alone. And that was the last time I saw them...

I was third off the line after the second round of chugging, and feeling pretty good. Stomach full but not uncomfortable, I rounded my second lap in confidence. Downing the third beer was admittedly more challenging than the first two, but hearing "Holy crap, go Amanda!" from my peers gave me the fuel I needed to push through the pain. My third lap was one perpetual burp of carbonation. I was starting the feel it, and the reality that I had to force yet another drink down struck fear into my heart.

I boarded the struggle bus at approximately 6 minutes into the run. The fourth beer was reluctant to go down, and in fact almost had a "return to sender" postage before I even left the transition zone. I couldn't think, I couldn't breathe, all I could do was repeat "Keep it down. I will NOT be running another lap." By this time I was feeling the effects of the alcohol. The last turn on to the homestretch became about 6 turns... But I finished, and I finished third overall with a time of 8 minutes 16 seconds! And props to the two gentlemen who beat me, Buck with a time of 7:25 and Reuben with a time of 7:26.

The bragging rights that I earned and am proud to announce:
- I was the third overall finisher in my very first beer mile!
- I was the only woman to complete the mile.
- My time of 8:16 should rank me 25th female ever in the beer mile (but won't because I drank cider, dammit!)

My mother must be so proud.

As much as I tried, I could not evacuate my stomach immediately post-race. And so began the after-effects of the beer mile...an event that keeps on giving long after the tape is crossed.

My one other achievement? I was most-handedly the drunkest participant. Most of my post-race exploits are a blur to me, but I distinctly remember running around and throwing my running shoes over a football goal post and yelling "Mic drop!" What followed were 12 hours of misery. I was THAT drunk person puking in the bushes in front of your house.

Don't worry, mom is still proud.

I got home and passed out, woke up at 3am feeling pretty good...because I was still completely drunk. Another bout of alcohol rejection and I was back to bed, but I rallied and woke up at 10am without a headache. Go figure.

Then came the fun of locating the car. I had to run about 4 miles to grab my wheels since naturally I had a driver for the event. Thanks to my roomie Anthony who chauffeured me and held my coat whilst I took to the shrubs. FYI: The following morning he proceeded to tell all my coworkers that I needed a boyfriend. There's a thin line between love and hate...

And that, my friends, is the beer mile in all its glory. If you've never done it, you need to check it off your bucket list. If you have done it, you'll understand why I'll never do it again.

Cheers!

Day 275.
Alta Peak
Sunrise at Mt. Rainier.

Discovery Park