It doesn’t have to be an epic battle between the forces of good and evil.
I believe beer can live in a symbiotic relationship with athletic pursuits. It’s all about balance, expectations, pacing and choosing your sport wisely.
The expats in Malay had it right — drinkers with a running problem. The Hash House Harriers were created in the 1930s in Kuala Lumpur as a way to balance unhealthy weekend binge drinking with trail running that involved slightly less beer drinking.
Now there are Hash House Harriers clubs throughout the world. Even tiny Whitehorse boasts its own kennel.
The 5-10 kilometre running course is set by a “hare” using flour. There are dead ends, split trails and, of course, a beer check near the end of the run to remind everyone of their purpose. They also have their singing rituals, post-run beer-chugging for all sorts of infractions, along with general merriment and camaraderie.
As we age, beer evolves from a friendly sidekick to a backstabbing, evil conjoined twin hell-bent on our ruin. But, because we know him, we can engage in prepared combat — lifting those legs up Grey Mountain, grinding up Pee Wee hill, etc. Or, if you are more of a 60 beats-per-minute (bpm) type of person — disc golf.
Mount Mac has a decent 18-hole course, or you can set your own course in the woods, designating trees as your target. Although not recommended by accomplished players, you can even balance your throwing arm with a tasty malt beverage in the other.
Some sports, like disc golf, can accommodate — and are even improved through — simultaneous beering and sporting.
Bocce ball — yes! Lawn darts — yes! Billiards — resounding yes! You get the idea. You might want to stay away from Scuba diving, polo, or anything else on a horse for that matter.
If you are more of a 140 bpm type, you might want to try the Beer Mile.
There are four legs of approximately 400 metres each and you have to chug a beer before each leg. If you can’t keep the beer down, you have to run a penalty lap.
Sorry frat boys, no shotgunning allowed.
It’s a weird fusion of real sport and Man Channel antics. The official world record for a non-beer mile is 3:43. Josh Harris, ran the fastest Beer Mile in 5:04.
The event attracts elite athletes. United States Olympic middle distance runner Nick Symmonds tried to beat the record in 2012, but could only muster 5:19.
So now that I’ve advocated for beer and sport I want to be clear that I’m not arguing for the pursuit of sport to justify the consumption of crappy beer.
I still believe that you should put only delicious, well-crafted beers in your mouth, regardless of the situation.