The beer mile is one of the running cultures most popular races, a true testament of endurance, and also beer drinking ability.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking part in my first one. One weekend last month when I was visiting family back home in South Jersey, my dad and South Jersey Running Co. part time employee mentioned to me that the Running Co. was hosting a beer mile at a local track a few miles from where I grew up and that I should join and represent Philadelphia Runner.
I thought for a second and said “I’m in let’s do it” but I’m going to need some friends to do it with. The next week at work I mention it my friend and co-worker Breandan.
“Hey man I’m doing a beer mile next week are you in”?
After a long sip from his Federal Donuts iced coffee he looks up and says,
Well alright lets do this. The next day while running to November Project, Breandan and I mention the race to our good buddy and pride of Emery, South Dakota Joe Janssen.
“Hey Joe any interest in doing a beer mile?”
He replied, “I’m not quite sure what that is but it sounds awesome!”
And just like that there were three of us. Fast forward to race day, after a relaxing or as some would call it a “shakeout run” down beautiful Broad Street we had the whole day to get our minds right and figure out our game plan for the beer mile later that evening. As the clock ticked closer to beer mile time gray clouds drew near and chances of thunder storms loomed, but we couldn’t let that get in our heads. We had a race to run and a store to represent. There was no time for worrying about the weather.
5 o'clock comes and it was time to leave. I hopped in the car and went and picked up Breandan (the self pro claimed fastest man in point breeze) and Joe ( the fresh prince of Titan Street). We loaded up the ole ford focus with bud light platinum and coors original (our beers of choice) and made our way “across the river to the Jersey side”.
We have arrived.
Memorial Field Morrestown NJ where a brand new cedar track awaits us. No turning back now, let's warm up.
After a few laps and some dynamic stretching everyone was ready to go. As I stood there and looked around at the track and my competition I happen to notice my dad wearing cargo shorts. Why I don’t know.
“Dad are you running?"
"You’re wearing cargo shorts."
"Well I have stuff to carry”
Now this has nothing to do with the race it is just something I needed to point out. I still am wondering why he wore cargo shorts. Any way back to the story, the race starts and the first two brewskis go down with no problem. I’m feeling a little winded but feeling good. If you remember I mentioned potential thunderstorms and oh man was there a storm. When most of the pack myself included started the third lap the skies opened up and it started to down pour (it was like the running gods were disappointed at our immature behavior).
Just stay focused it's only rain is the only thing I could think about. We all soldier on to the fourth lap and all I can think about at that point was god this sucks I need a towel. When I cross the finish line I feel an odd sense of accomplishment like when you were younger and did something wrong but got away with it it sort of felt like that.
Most of the group starts to gather at the finish line still wet and raining we cheer on the rest of our friends as they cross the line. With our former PR co-worker Bill Castro quoting Seinfeld and making weather jokes we all congratulate each other on our efforts. After the trophy presentation a group of us head to the local PJ Whelihans to celebrate with you guessed it more beer; because you know...we earned it.
You might be wondering, who won?
Well Breandan stepped up and ran an impressive time of 6:01 and represented Philadelphia Runner well. As for Joe and I, we were both happy with our times and are looking forward to doing another one very soon. It was a great afternoon and a really fun experience. It was a great way to start our holiday weekends.
Before I end this if anyone would like to come by our Center City store to take some pictures with the trophy we will have it for a few more days. I will make a fine instagram post.
Written by Matthew Scioli.