OK, I’ll start with a disclaimer (lawyers like this). I’m not promoting drinking, carelessness or stupidity and if you do any of the following you do so at your own risk.
As you know, psychology and specifically sports psychology is a favorite study area of mine. I’ve posted a few items in the past about motivation, goal setting and visualization. There are plenty more topics to come. This is one example I want to share regarding motivation and doing something novel. Novelty can infuse energy into an otherwise humdrum pattern of life. Now, if you like the routine and don’t like change that is OK too.
Awhile back some members of our running club were apprised of (I think maybe my brother brought it up) a different kind of race. Many of you know of Hash House Harriers – “a drinking club with a running problem”. Well, it came to our attention a couple years ago that there was such a thing as a “Beer Mile.” Not only that, but there were official rules! Everyone being “of age” (at least chronologically) this sounded like something worth investigating further.
The Beer Mile is an international event that can be conducted at any track or accurately measured course. The rules are simple: drink a beer from a can or bottle then run a lap; do this 4 times total. If you cannot contain the contents of your beer to your stomach and they happen to spew forth – you must run another lap. Only standard beers are allowed – no light beers. Only standard containers are allowed – no altering them or pre-opening them. They must be opened at the time of drinking it. Well, those are the main rules. Check out beermile.com for more information.
Records are kept by state, country and beer type. Only official results (kinda like certified real results – see the rules) count for records but other times are recorded on the site. You can even have a Chocolate Milk Mile or Coke (not the snorting type – the drinking type) Mile or whatever if you do not care for beer. However, only beer gets “official” results status.
This is popular at colleges across the USA as you can see from results. There are also people who do this on a regular basis – just peruse the results.
Anyway, we’ve conducted two such runs and fun was had by all… OK, most.
Some lessons learned:
- The beer cannot be too cold nor too warm.
- Fast drinkers have an advantage over fast runners.
- Get the beer with the least carbonation.
- Alcohol has no effect during the race; even a soft drink would yield the same results… you finish the race before the alcohol even hits you.
- The 48 ounces of carbonated fluid on your stomach is the main issue.
- Don’t save anything on the running portion; treat it like hard intervals… on a full stomach.
- Brand of beer doesn’t matter, buy cheap because you don’t taste it anyway.
[And of course have designated drivers.]
As for motivation, we set state records that day. Most of us do not care to defend out titles. Once is enough. But, it was fun. It is OK to be serious about running and coaching but we cannot take ourselves too seriously. Life is too short.
By the way, as a keynote speaker at a large conference this fall, the conference organizers requested that I organize a Beer Mile for the conference. That I did. Once again it was a blast. But even more fun to watch. Invite me to your next conference to speak, and I’ll throw in the “race director” role for free.