It turns out there is a big difference between a 4.2 percent ABV beer and a 5 percent ABV beer.
At last year’s Beer Mile (yes, I’ve done this more than once now!) I decided on the 4.2 percent Miller Lite. This year, I decided to do the same beer my boyfriend Mike chose — Coors Banquet Beer, which comes in at 5 percent ABV.
The beer mile includes four beers and four laps — one beer before each lap, for the total of a mile. To count as an official beer mile (here are all the rules), that’s the lowest ABV a beer should be. The informal race I participated in at our friends’ house is certainly more for fun and without stringent requirements, but I figured I might as well try the 5 percent beer. Since I don’t ever drink this amount of beers in such a short amount of time, I was a little worried, but it turned out fine (although, of course, we walked home).
Although I love to run, that is really only a small part of the beer mile. The tough part — at least for me — is drinking the beers quickly.
There were seven of us and one relay team who took part in the beer mile on Fourth of July weekend — on Saturday, July 1. Of the six individual finishers, I took sixth place, and I was lapped by all of them.
Last year for the beer mile, I ran a 16:45, but that was with the lower ABV beer. After the first beer this year, I looked down at my watch and saw about 1:10 — not too shabby, at least for me. With the run, I remember finishing the first lap in less than 4 minutes.
Things went downhill from there. Although I never felt sick, it was just hard to get the beers down so quickly, so I ended up taking multiple sips.
The beers have to be finished in a certain location; you can’t sip on the beer as you run — although I’m not really sure how that would work out, anyway. The running really wasn’t that bad. Since the loops were around a neighborhood and a little bit less than a quarter-mile, there was another half-loop at the end.
My “official” time was just under 20 minutes, but I ran just a tiny bit extra so my watch said 1 mile (since I was participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak) and ended up with a time on my watch of 20:05.
On Strava, the run showed up as 9:18. I certainly didn’t complete the beer mile that fast, so I’m not sure if that might have been my moving time. I wouldn’t be surprised if drinking the beers took me more than half of my total time.
Like last year, I ran a mile for speed shortly beforehand — this year, it was the day before. That day, I ran an 8:09, so I’m confident it was the beer hindering my ability to run a little faster (although, as noted, all the other finishers were much faster than I was).
Afterward, there was a podium made of different items (I didn’t make it on there) and various prizes from Evolution Craft Brewing Company — I got some sunglasses!
It was a fun morning and a fun Fourth of July tradition to continue.
20:05 may not sound like a great mile time, but I think that’s even a decent time for drinking four beers. And now I have a new standard to beat for next year!
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