AM: Ran 4 miles and then paced a 5k in East Lake. I ran with the new guy Jacob, who is 14 and was shooting for a 16:40. I tried to talk him and his mother out of that pace, but they were adamant his workouts indicated that kind of speed, so I just caved. We paced through one mile in 5:28, and he was already cooked by the 0.75 mark to be honest. Finished in 18:24, and he was seriously mad at himself. I tried what I could to fix his attitude, but I don’t think there was anything I could say. Finished with a couple more miles.
PM: 8th annual Cinco de Mile, beer 1 mile race!
Course: this was a much different event then most beer miles. You start at the main bar in Plant City, begin the race by drinking a beer, then travel a quarter mile north to the next bar, go inside and drink your second beer, then reverse and head back to the main bar to drink your third beer, then head south a quarter mile to another bar to drink your fourth beer, and then back to the main bar to drink an unprecedented FIFTH beer. Absolute nightmare amount of beer for a non-drinker like me.
Conditions: super hot and humid, but for only a mile race it really doesn’t affect much.
Competition: about 25 competitors strong and then some walkers who were just doing it for fun. To be honest, the crowd was bigger than the number of competitors. There were three 2-time champions in the field as well.
The prize: the coveted Green Jacket, to be yours for the year and to have your name stitched in it forever of course!
The race: I started off behind about 12 guys and a girl after finishing my first drink. Everyone was required to drink the beers inside the bar, so there was a bottleneck for the slower drinkers. I left the bar in about eighth place. I caught up to fourth as we entered the second bar, and my only real advantage (being a runner) was immediately evident. Although I was third/fourth (tied) exiting the bar, the guys in front of me were struggle-busing ahead of me already, so I jetted to the front and got to the third stop in the lead, downed my drink the fastest and was out the door before the fourth guy even entered, and the other two guys were still waiting to take their first chug. Now firmly in first place, this next leg I was flying! I got to the southern bar which (thankfully) had a setup OUTSIDE the bar, took a deep breath, held my breath, and took 3 large swigs to take it down.
I was absolutely bloated at this point. I had no idea how I was going to finish the next one- the nightmare beer. I began my run and didn’t catch my first competitor for about 15 seconds, but there were four guys neck and neck, my friend Elia being one of them. I cruised on this one, knowing what was in store for me. I arrived to 15 people outside the bar cheering, opened the door to the entire bar watching and cheering, and was handed a 16-ounce LEVIATHAN of a beer. I immediately took a swig and barely got two ounces down. I repeated this brutal method for 5-6 seconds, before holding my breath and going for broke. I finished the beer and dropped the cup in the trash for good measure before second place even entered the building!
Second, third, and fourth blew open the door in that moment, Elia bringing up the rear. Elia then proceeded to absolutely crush his drink in mere seconds to over-take them and finish in second overall! The winner from last year finished fourth, but the third place guy let some of his come back up, so he was disqualified. We then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with everybody. Too fun!
What I learned? Five beers is a whole different world than a 4-beer beer mile. I still remember looking at the fifth one and thinking, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” It was all worth it for the coveted green jacket!
Final time, 6:31, final distance 1.02, but that counts gps inaccuracy entering the bars.