“Dumb Beerathon” Marathon – 2008

September 5, 2008

This is just a post about an adventure.  This doesn’t figure into my races in any kind of official way.

I have mentioned that I created my own (difficult) marathon course through Long Beach… and that I have put on some for fun events based upon ideas I had (like doing my own relay) or Hash House Harrier-related events.

My friend Jimmy Lewis and I decided we would put on a “Beerathon” – essentially a full marathon, with opportunities for 12 beer stations along the way (mostly at friends’ houses; one at a bar).

The rules were as follows:

** Runners could do a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, or 10K (but for the shorter distances they would need to join us mid-course, and only start when marathoners first arrived, and we wouldn’t be able to drive them back).  The Marathon was to start at 4:00pm on Friday afternoon.

** There was also a Bike Marathon option, starting at 5:30pm.  Bikers would take over the marking of the course as soon as they overtook the runners.

** For each full beer consumed (limit of 1 per stop), a runner could subtract 10 minutes from his total time.  Time to consume the beer was included in the total time, so it was possible that drinking a beer would ADD time to the total.

** As each beer was consumed, the pull tab or cap (or something to demarcate the beer) would be added to the runner’s finishing medal, which was fishing line in a loop around the runner’s neck.

I don’t think a lot of runners were really excited about doing a full marathon, but some people said they might meet us midway to run or just for moral support.  At 4pm, Jimmy and I started the timer and immediately cracked open a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), downed it, and added the pull-tab to our “necklace.”

We now set off at a comfortable jog.

I should mention that I was running with chalk (to mark the turns, though I had marked some of it previously the day before) and two water bottles (and my electrolyte pills) because staying hydrated would help me finish and getting drunk would get me dehydrated.

Our next beer (#2) was at Danial Singer’s house (aka “Chewy”) right around Mile 2.  In order to get in 12 beers in 26 miles, you should average about 1 every 2 miles; however, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to actual have a stop EVERY 2 miles… because after 10 miles, I would be too drunk to continue.  We had this stop AT 2 miles, because of its closeness to the course.  Beer done, pull tab off.

The next few miles were through the CSULB campus, over to Studebaker, briefly through El Dorado Park to Bernice’s (“Special”) for a beer (#3).  Hi, Special.  Beer done, pull tab attached.

Back onto Studebaker, across Carson Street into Lakewood to Debbie and Steve’s (aka “Cornie” and “Head and Shoulders”) house for a beer (#4).  Their house was around 9 miles (our average has dropped down a bit).  Beer done, pull tab attached.

By now, the bikers should be off and behind us, and hopefully will catch us soon so I don’t have to stop any more and mark arrows for the turns!

We go back across Carson, back onto Studebaker, but veer right onto Los Coyotes Diagonal to cut across toward Signal HIll.  Just after the 6-way intersection (Clark, Los Coyotes and Stearns), we make a turn into the neighborhood to Laura & Jon (“Sucks on Trail” and “Double Dipper”)’s house with a couple of yippie dogs (who are excited to see us) for another Beer (#5).  Beer done, pull tab attached.  Mile 12 done.

Now we head over into Signal HIll proper and the halfway point, where we think some people will meet us at Steve’s house (“Double Entry”).  There are a couple of fast guys (not so fast, guys) who want to run a half, and a guy who quickly biked over here (who wanted to do the full, but we didn’t know) who wants to run the rest of the way with us (Steve will truck his bike to the end).  Beer (#6) done, pull tab attached.  Mile 13.1.

From Steve’s, we go about a block to Hill Street (18% grade) and head up the hill (about 0.25 mile), turn left and we are at “Open Fly”‘s daughter’s garage (I don’t know his real name.) for yet another beer (#7).  Done, pull tab attached.

We do a little more circling around Signal Hill (more steep up- and downhills) and work our way across Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) down to Anaheim Street and Joe Jost’s for another beer (#8).  I had previously stopped at Joe Jost’s when I ran a version of this marathon course to train for my 50M/marathon back-to-back run last year.  I knew I could get a small beer for a couple of dollars, and that would be a good idea, because I was starting to feel it (even with drinking water)… but no, no small beer for me, because the bar was packed and people were excited about our adventure and someone bought me a Schooner (20 oz.) AND a Joe Jost’s keychain.  Beer… do…n…e, keychain attached.

Our next stop was at Inger & Zack’s (“Snow” and “Hitter”).  I had to call them to come out, because we were WAY off schedule… and where are those cyclists?  Inger came out with a beer for me, Jimmy and the rest of the guys running with us (#9), and I added the pull tab from the finished beer to my collection.  WHEN the cyclists arrived, they didn’t have the phone number, so they had to bypass.

We also picked up a few runners from Joe Jost’s who ran with us to the end (Inger & Zack’s now about Mile 22).

Next stop was Anne and Scott’s garage (“Beams” and “BBBB”), where they had bottled beer (#10) for us.  Umm… no pull tab, so Scott hammered a hole through the cap with a nail and I added that to my collection.

Next stop is Ken’s place (“Passing Wind”).  I am getting really “S” faced at this point.  I have the directions in hand, but I am starting to question whether they are correct or not (they are), so I decide that I will run in the opposite direction.  Wrong!  Beer (#11) done.

There were a few other options for beer, but one of our downtown options was going to work out as soon as the cyclists passed us (which they still haven’t, so we couldn’t stop there) and somewhat near the end, but he wasn’t home when we came by but was a little later when the bikers came by.

After Kenny’s is my favorite part, which is across the pontoon bridge on Colorado Lagoon and then up the 6th Street hill back to the Start/Finish at the 49r.  Jimmy had arrived a little ahead of me, because he trusted my directions when I didn’t and got a little lead on me (the last few miles I had to walk).  He was waiting for me with my final beer (#12).  No pull tab, no key chain, so I bit a hole through a coaster and added that to my final “medallion.”

Just after I finished, the cyclists finished (what!?!).  One of their group had had a flat and they waited… and they were also just as drunk as we were… er… tipsy.

The total time was 6 hours and 32 minutes MINUS 12 beers times 10 minutes (aka 2 hours).  So, our net time was 4:32.

Our next plan is to do an ultra beer-a-thon, which we think should be 50 miles (probably a loop course) with 2-3 stops every 10 miles (hope that others might consider doing it if it was a relay).


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