3 Jul

Win, Booze or Draw?

Man with thumbs up beside a glass of beer on table top

It would be easy to assume that the impending beer shortage in the UK is no real cause for alarm for runners. After all, runners are healthy, disciplined, clean living types. Right? Erm, not always…

Running encompasses a broad range of people and yes, some do go teetotal, treating their bodies in a temple-like way. Others prefer Temple Bar (a notoriously boozy Dublin street for the uninitiated).

Running has an interesting relationship with drink. On the face of it, there is not obvious connection with alcohol. And yet while running and alcohol are not natural bedfellows, their flirtations have led to the odd drunken fumble under the covers. Sometimes it goes even further than that.

Perhaps the most renowned coming together of the two is France’s Marathon du Medoc which features 23 wine stops through Bordeaux. The event blends a unique combination of 'wine, sports, fun and health', presumably, not too many personal bests though.

Its infamous cousin is the notorious beer mile. Launched by students – naturally – it involved the consumption of four beers over four laps. The record is a pretty remarkable 4mins 33.6secs, held by Corey Bellemore, who is also a Canadian international in non-beer racing.

An international movement, or more aptly, a ramshackle network known as the Hash House Harriers also have a strong relationship with booze. They revel in the strapline of being a 'drinking club with a running problem'.

Edinburgh-based Hunters Bog Trotters are another clan who enjoy the odd tipple. Long-term club official Robin Thomas holds the odd distinction of running 100 miles, drinking 100 pints in 100 hours. Think about that. It’s an achievement of some merit whichever way you look at it.

Take popular blogger Totes Inappropes and her network Run Bitch Run, which has over 14,000 members on Facebook. Never one to mince her words, she places gin and swearing as priorities among her legion of running followers.    

One of my own favourite racing memories is at the conclusion of a gruelling 15 mile cross country in North East London hosted by Orion Harriers. Rather than being handed the usual standard finishers medal I was handed a flute of champagne. To that, you can’t help but raise a glass. Cheers!  

Image courtesy - Max Pixel