Shakin’ it up on the track

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Unofficial and unsanctioned, yes. Unusual, absolutely. Unpleasant? Maybe a little.

Don’t ever let it be said that distance runners don’t know how to have fun. As with everything else, though, they do it a little differently than ordinary people, and some might say, with just a whiff of masochism involved.

At 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, there were four runners at Clarke Field, stretching out, warming up, getting ready to pit themselves against the competition and maybe achieve a personal best. They were about to compete in a timed race known as a Beer Mile.

Ephraim Ford explained the rules: Drink a beer, run a quarter mile, drink a beer, run a quarter mile. And repeat, ad nauseum.

Literally ad nauseum, although only one runner actually felt bad enough to empty his stomach. Unfortunately, puking earned him a penalty lap. Not a personal best after all — more like a personal worst.

Petite Julie Ford crossed the finish line first, completing a mile and two beers in about nine minutes. She was feeling a little funny at that point, so she took a few more laps around the track to run it off.

Ephraim Ford went the full distance, beerwise, completing his mile and four Fat Tires in just over 10 minutes. He was followed across the line about 40 seconds later by Shawn Casey, who made up in enthusiasm what he lacked in speed, drinking one more beer and running one more lap before calling it quits, for a total of five Moosehead Lagers in one and a quarter miles.

The last runner — who it must be said didn’t feel that great before the race started — came in at about 18 minutes, including his penalty lap. His face looked like it belonged on a poster saying “Kids, Don’t Drink and Run.”

Designated drivers were standing by to take the runners home.

There was some talk of holding another unofficial, unsanctioned event, involving donuts and a quart of milk, but no date was mentioned. However, for people interested in official events where the sanctioned beverage is just plain water, the Socorro Striders and Riders will begin their Spring Running Series with a 5K race on Saturday, Feb. 11. Find them on Facebook or visit stridersandriders.blogspot.com for more information.

 


-- Email the author at sbarteau@dchieftain.com.