Okay, so Claire beat me to it… but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write my very own BEER RUN RACE REPORT!
First, I would like to add the disclaimer that calling it a “race report” is probably not a very apt title. In fact, there were many points during the day where the participants were actually discussing how it wasn’t so much a “beer run” as a “bar crawl while dressed in running costumes,” but no matter. I actually ran between every stop, gosh darn it! (And annoyed a few people by being a frontrunner who set the pace way too fast for our drunken selves). Which brings up the question… since it requires a lot more effort to run drunk than it does to run sober, how many miles does it equate to if I ran 5 while sloshed?
Before we do that math, let’s start at the beginning. I had spent all day Saturday lazing around until late afternoon, and when I woke up on Sunday morning, that was pretty much all I wanted to do again. It didn’t help that daylight savings had come along to confuse the heck out of me. While I’m usually pretty intelligent about such things, I was utterly baffled at how every clock in my bedroom said the same time when I woke up. Don’t some clocks usually require resetting? Apparently not if you own such smart devices as my cable box, cell phone, laptop, or iHome bedside clock (that last one surprised me too). It wasn’t until I wandered out to the kitchen for breakfast that I found the one “dumb” clock in my house: my microwave. (And, now that I’m thinking about, I think I didn’t bother to reset it before I left for the week. Whoops!) I had originally planned to meet Claire for some extra miles in Prospect Park at 10am, but it was 10:56am before I hauled myself away from my Top Chef catchup, threw on some spring running clothes, and headed out the door.
First leg: 0.3 miles to Columbus Circle, 2:22. Wow! Much faster than the 10-15 minutes it usually takes me to walk. Now if only I could do it in heels and without getting sweaty, I’d be so much more likely to go meet friends downtown for drinks instead of selfishly making them come up to my area. But while the walk to the subway was fast, it took a lot longer than I expected to do the train transfers and get to Brooklyn, so I arrived at our meeting spot 5 minutes late. Lucky for me, Claire was just about to get started. I joined the crowd of avid runners at her feet (she was standing on a park bench to be heard), and gratefully accepted my beautiful new “We’ll Run for Beer” koozie (see Claire’s race report for a pic).
After some welcoming remarks, we were off and running – and surprisingly, Baker and I were leading the pack. (This was probably not a good thing given that neither of us knew where we were going). Luckily, another guy turned out to be from Brooklyn and pointed us in the right direction. In the meantime, I got to meet Scott of 4:30 or Bust, and a few minutes later, I met Michelle of Running Down a Dream! This was definitely turning out to be a blogger meetup of epic proportions.
0.4 miles later, we reached our first bar: Beer Table. The venue was small, so I was glad that we had gotten there early – not just to stake out seats, but specifically, to stake out the seats closest to the bar so we’d be served fastest. He who runs fastest, drinks fastest, became my motto – and drink fast I did! In deference to the long distance nature of our quest (well, at least given how much beer we had to consume along the way), they were offering half pours of everything… so I tried a half pour each of the Koppi Tomahawk x Guji Natural Coffee IPA by Mikkeller, and the Eindejaar Speciaal by Kleinbrouwerij de Glazen Toren. The Koppi was really hoppy and tangy, which made it a great kickoff to the day, but the Eindejaar was phenomenal – so sweet and yeast-y, it reminded me of a dessert beer! I contemplated getting another pour – since we had gotten served first, we were done fastest – but decided it would be better to be done first and at the front of the pack so I could repeat that luck at the next bar. And did I mention we still had FIVE more bars to hit? I had better pace myself.
The run to the next stop, Draft Barn, was 0.6 miles and 1:05:50… what? Oops, I had already screwed up by forgetting to stop my watch at the end of that run. I kept drinking anyway, enjoying a Mother’s Milk by Keegan Ales (a tasty stout that made me wonder if it was okay to drink coffee-flavored beer since I gave up coffee for Lent), and not so much enjoying the watery house-brewed raspberry Hefeweizen. But down the hatch it went, and onto the next bar we went.
The next leg of our run was brutal. Not because of the distance (0.8 miles), but because it was all uphill. Fortunately, we had good motivation – not only did Park Slope Ale House have a nice selection of brews awaiting, but Claire also promised us that they had some pretty tasty cheese fries. Ultimately, that promise was what got me up the darn hill (and still in the lead!). Time: 7:44 (still under a 10 minute mile – I’m content).
When we arrived, we discovered that unlike the previous two places, we did not have this bar all to ourselves – there were plenty of regulars already around, as well as a few runners who had Rosie Ruiz-ed it from the last bar to beat us there. I still managed to claim a great booth, and my newfound cute partner-in-crime and I split an order of chili cheese fries. Let me tell you, a guy who wants to do a beer run and share chili cheese fries is a guy after my own heart! Even better, he was also willing to share a little bit of his beer so I could ratchet up my total number of beers tried: one sip of Kelso Nut Brown, and then of course my full pint of Sweet Action by Sixpoint.
Before we staggered out of Bar #3, I headed down to the basement, where the restrooms were located… only to find a children’s birthday party going on, complete with clowns and face painting. Boy, that is the way to do it! I feel like this is the kind of party Ian would throw for his kids. Clowns downstairs, and when the crying and the sugar highs start up, the adults are sedated by the pints they’ve been chugging upstairs. Thumbs up!
What was not a thumbs up, though, was the next leg of our run: a marathon-like 1.61 miles. I managed to run the whole thing with no walk breaks (coming in with a respectable 15:22), but it was definitely an effort to do so, which then brought up the question I mentioned prematurely in this post: just how much energy does four pints sap out of you, and by what factor does that increase the equivalent distance you’ve run? I like to think you get to multiply it by an additional point for each pint consumed, which by my beer math means I ran 8.05 miles ((1+4) x 1.61 miles) on this leg and 22.5 miles overall. National Marathon, here I come!
But when I say I staggered into our next bar, Washington Commons, I do mean “staggered.” After that exhausting run, I collapsed into a booth near the back of the bar, declaring it “my coffin” as I updated my Facebook status to say “I think I might die.” (While that may have been a bit dramatic, I did strongly consider the possibility of throwing up, a fact which greatly alarmed the partner-in-crime.) But like a champ, I rallied to hit the bar for another beer. While everyone else was swapping out for Bud Lights, I refused to stoop that low, and instead found that the Farmhouse Ale by Jolly Pumpkin was only 4.5% ABV – good enough for me! I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the next bar at all, let alone run and then drink another one once I got there… and we actually had two more to go! This was intense.
By the time we were set to leave that bar, though, my competitive spirit had returned… and I once again led the way over to Plan B. (Okay, so the fact that it was a scant 0.4 miles may have helped… but hey, even 0.4 miles is tough when you’ve had that many beers!) To prove to you that I hadn’t just miraculously gotten sober, I’ll note that my entry on Untappd reads, “Shock Top Belgian White by Anheuser-Busch at MetroPlus Health Plan.” First of all, please don’t judge me for drinking Anheuser-Busch – this bar only had macrobrews, so the Shock Top was the best of a bad lot. But second, let’s take a closer look at that location. “MetroPlus Health Plan?” Yeah, I don’t think I clicked the right Foursquare venue when I was entering that one in!
Buoyed by the thought of only one bar to go (and the fact that I had just drank two wussy beers instead of manning up), I smoked the last 0.8 mile run in 6:59 – 8:43 pace, baby! And best of all, our next bar, Bierkraft, was known almost as much for their awesome sandwiches as their incredible selection of beers. I split a turkey-whole-grain-mustard sandwich with the partner-in-crime and discussed the concept of beer running with the two guys next to us who seemed slightly taken aback by the mass of 30+ sweaty people that had suddenly converged on Bierkraft. Meanwhile, I was ebullient – just one more pint and I could call it a day! While I first looked for the amazing Écaussins Cookie Beer or Val Dieu Grand Cru I had discovered the week before in Belgium, I eventually settled on a nice light Wahoo Wheat Beer by Ballast Point Brewing.
One beer per bar and 4.5 miles covered – brilliant beer run, if I do say so myself! Now, I just want to know when we practice again. You know, for the beer marathon! Who’s in?!
(Sadly, my less-than-adequate skills with my phone meant that in addition to the aforementioned errors/problems, I also did not take any pictures. For those, go check out Claire’s recap!)