Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beer Mile

OK, I'll need to see everybody's ID.

What better fun for a frigid Friday night than to expand our athletic horizons by running a beer mile?

Galloway was in town for Thanksgiving, Chase was able to round up his brother Evan and uberbiker Aaron, Joe and Amanda were timekeepers, Ethel ran the still camera, Willi took some video with my non-nightworthy cam (so no video), and Lauren would show up at the end to help survey the damage. A killer crew by all accounts.

A beer mile is the confluence of athletic prowess and competitive drinking. One beer is consumed before each of 4 laps around the track. The clock runs the whole time, so this is truly a multidiscipline event.

Venue? Um, Reno High. Notice Galloway rocking the old school Huskies gloves.

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We're still sober. Except for Aaron, who got a head start.

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Steely determination from a uniformed member of the Lesbian Ferrari bike gang

We reviewed the rules, set up our beers in the transition zone, and took a good moment to fully embrace our stupidity.

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This is really going to happen

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Underway. This is a race and nobody's taken a step yet.

Joe counted us down and when he said GO, the still night air was filled with the sound of 5 beers simultaneously opening. Aaron took the early lead out of the transition zone, Galloway and Evan exited more or less together, and Chase and I brought up the rear.

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Evan, on point, first beer down

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Dutifully waiting for their runner

I was firmly in last after the first lap but rallied and left in first for the second lap. Chase wasn't far behind and quickly passed me in the first 100m. I've never been able to hang with his top-end speed, and I started doubting my chances of maintaining any sort of a lead on him.

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Yes, Aaron chose Steel Reserve. Stud.

Chase was in the lead after lap 2, and I wasn't too far behind. Galloway, Aaron, and Evan, sprightly on the first lap, were still in contention behind me. Our stomachs were starting to feel the toll of plentiful carbonated liquid, but it was still manageable.

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Chase and I, gulp for gulp

The same pattern was repeated on lap 3. I left first, Chase soon passed, and Galloway and Aaron kept their pace up, too. This lap really started to hurt, as running speed and gastric discomfort proved to be directly related. We got back to transition and Evan was still there, about to head out on lap 3.

My task was obvious: I had to build a huge lead in the consumption category if I wanted any chance of nicking the win from Chase. Seems silly, since I'm really not much of a drinker. But I drank that beer like the night depended on it and charged out of transition, ready for the hurt.

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Every second gained on the 4th beer is crucial

I ran hard, and it hurt, bad. But we only had 400m to go, and I just had to keep from puking until I crossed the line. I could hear Chase, not far behind, and I buried the throttle out of primal fear. Coming around the last turn, 100m to go, I lapped Evan, and the sound of his footsteps mixed in with Chase's, making the margin between us indeterminate.

I managed to hold Chase off, but just barely. We came across as Galloway and Aaron were finishing their 4th beer. Safely complete, I staggered onto the grass and donated about half of that 4th beer.

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Comparing discomfort

Within a couple more minutes, everyone else had made it through, and Galloway offered a bit more of his beer to the sacred football field.

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Official timekeepers

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This is how the times worked out:
Eliot 7:48
Chase 7:50
Galloway 10:50ish
Aaron 11:25
Evan 11:27

World Record is 5:09. Think about that for a second.

Aaron unanimously won the People's Choice Award for manning up with 8.1% Steel Reserve. No other awards were given.

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Same crew, 12 minutes later

Never gotten quite that drunk in 8 minutes. All that was left was to stagger to our respective designated drivers and retreat to Ceol for a celebratory nightcap.

Is this something you should do at least once in your life? Yes. More than once? Questionable.

Past Detritus