Its not often you are able to witness an amazing performance or achievement, which makes it extremely special when you do see something incredible.
Thursday this week was…..well ok lets just call it weird!
Post the usual Thursday speed and stamina session, a duel of clubs had been organised. I was unable to make Speed and Stamina, but managed to find the time to wander over to the Astral Park track to witness the spectacular that took place as a good-bye to Ed Kerr and a bit of fun with our friends from LBAC.
The challenge was thus – the ‘beer mile’.
For those who haven’t heard of such an event – well its really something quite different. The rules (such as they are) are simple. 400 mtr running track. CHECK. Runners. CHECK. 4 bottles or cans of beer – CHECK….starting Gong…ok optional!
Here’s how it works. At the sound of Anthony waking the dead by smashing the starting Gong, the ‘runners’ (lets still call them that for now) start…but they don’t need to move their feet just yet. The first action is to chug a can / bottle of beer until empty…then tip said bottle/ can upside down on their head to prove its all been drunk – and head off on a 400mtr lap of the running track.
Once one lap is completed, then down the next can / bottle, and repeat, until all 4 beers have been sunk, and all four laps have been run.
I would suggest that this is a great spectator sport – but I’m not sure that any of those who took part actually looked as though they were enjoying any part (expect for Ed – but we’ll come to that!).
So – what happened…well one of the chaps from LBAC straight away caused controversy by decanting his beer into pint glasses…much to the derision of the assembled crowd…there was even talk of disqualifying him before the gong had sung out…but as it was all just ‘fun’ (well for the crowd) he was permitted to continue.
From the outset it was clear that being a quick runner wasn’t going to be much help if you weren’t a fast drinker….Ed obviously hadn’t been putting in the training, as he was still finishing his first beer as the leader was around 300mtrs round the track. There was some yo-yoing of positions as some faster runners past faster drinkers on the lap – only to be passed back again in the ‘drinks station’ if we want to call it that.
My observations – well I’ve never seen some ones skin change colour so quickly, Captain Rob changed from his normal hue, to a shade of ‘Simpson Yellow’ after the first lap…and then proceeded to slowly shift towards green as the event unfolded…a small discussion was being had in the crowd about the slogan on his shirt of ‘no vomit no glory’ – and we were wondering if /when this would be proved true..
Rob observed later that he felt 4 stages of the race: Nervous Anxiety. Morbid sickness. Sheer relief. Drunk
So who won….well overall the first finisher was said chap from LBAC – however after a stewards enquiry we (well I) came to the conclusion that pint glasses should incur a time-penalty – so lets discount him. The next finisher place was extremely close between Captain Rob and Jim Buttleman. Jim had Rob hands down at the drinking (and didn’t change colour like a p*ssed chameleon) but on the final lap Rob just managed to get past Jim with 150 mtrs to go, and hand on to the lead, and his stomach….
Dan Green – who my money was on to win (Dan you let me down!) told me ‘The last lap felt amazing and the most pain free 400 I’ve ever run….must have been the booze!’
Others worthy of mention must include Joanna Lancaster – first lady home and she completely out-drank and out ran some of the chaps (Sparky I’m thinking of you here!) – and also Lorraine from LBAC, who really struggled with the beer – but didn’t give up.
Finally a word about Ed – who over the last year or so has been helping the club by running Speed and Stamina sessions, when he has been injured and not able to join in – and also organised the club 10km race. Well his lack of training (in the pub) really showed…..not only was he last – but he was seen hiding in the crowd drinking his been (maybe trying to off load it!) – but it was great to see many of the LFR runners join him on his final lap…..
Watch out for the next time this event takes place…and make sure you get the training right…..now where’s the bar???