Third last in a little under 10 mins
I have new found respect for these people that have run fast beer miles. By fast, I would rate anything under an 8 minute mile. Last night I think I ducked under 10 mins and with training I’m sure I could be quicker. I would have to focus on my weakness and thats chugging beer.
Daniel sent out an email the morning of the race saying he was organising it and by the 7pm start there were about 20 racers all lined up in fancy dress. Jo and I helped make it an international field, there were also a couple of top New Zealand ITU guys and lots of other strong age group Triathletes. On the way over Jo and I had got an 18 pack of New Zealand Lager 4 for the occasion. Quality stuff. Why 18 cans ? For one, we weren’t sure whether we needed 4 or 5 cans each and secondly we wondered whether we may want a can to warm up with.
So .. the rules. Neck a can, run a lap, times 4. Penalties for chucking up. SIMPLES
As we all hold our cans waiting for the start I start to get the giggles. Alternative pre race nerves I’m sure but not ideal when you have to skull a beer. Suddenly a 330ml can of beer seems like an awful lot of beer.
We’re off. Skull a third, stop for breath. Jeez some of the guys are off at pace. Skull a bit more. Jeez Jo is off. I knew she’d beat me but at this rate she’s going to lap me. Skull rest and I’m off. Keep it steady, feel bloated, already realising some of the times I’ve heard people doing this in are worthy of respect. Already belching and realising the alcohol ain’t the issue as it won’t hit you in time, it’s the volume and gas.
Lap 1 done. Catch breath, pleased to see others are still there. Start to skull. Kay asks if I’m on my third can (clearly having seen me at Epic Camp she assumes I’ll be good at this). I tell her it’s my second to which she retorts “It’s not a Sunday BBQ you know”. At this point, not only am I looking like I’m gonna be chicked but I’ll be the last bloke. I can see Dave Lawson and knowing his enthusiasm is likely to have him heading off quick and “going out the arse” later I feel I’m unlikely to be last. I also spot Evil Knievel and his helmet looks heavy.
Off again, more belching, more focussing on my running form (there are people watching). Third beer. This one’s not so fun. Bleedin hell I’m about to be lapped by my housemate Andy (he goes on to win in 6:22 !!!) He was excited leading in to the race, he knew he had a chance and seemed pretty knowledgable on the finer arts of beer drinking. Talk of shotgunning and wishing it could be a yard of ale per lap certainly sounded like fighting talk to me and I felt pretty sure it was borne from experience rather that trying to psyche out an unlikely competitor in me. He’d clearly had a ‘misspent’ youth which perhaps now may not be viewed quite so ‘misspent’.
Evil Knievel is holding me back, arm tightly around my shoulder, saying he doesn’t want to be last. He’s strong despite the beer, I point out Dave is behind and muscle free. I’m off again, it’s now a blur. Running is OK but drinking is not so good. I think I even resorted to spilling a bit of the last one down my best Hawaiian shirt. Final beer… oh no, drink quick or Jo will finish and can claim lapping you. DONE ! Phew, enjoy the moment, run the lap, soak up the atmosphere, you’ve trained years for this moment, don’t just let it pass. And then it’s all over.
As the minutes post finish tick by it seems slowly everyone is starting to get a little tipsy.
If I can sort out sponsorship to cover flights and expenses I’ll be back next year to try and better third from last. Jo won the ladies by over a lap so she’ll probably be invited back ;o)