Over the weekend, I read in Runner's World magazine that NPR's Peter Sagal attempted — and could not complete — a beer mile in Chicago recently.
Let me be honest. Although I read each issue nearly cover to cover, I hardly ever look at an article and think "hey, I can do that." The yoga feature is the most notable exception to that rule.
And now you think that months of reading about wacky races in which participants must either chug (beer, egg nog, etc.) or chow (Krispy Kremes) in between laps has worn me down.
Well, it hasn't, so you can relax and exhale again. So why do I bring up the rarity of RW-inspired action and beer chugging?
Here's a blow-by-blow account of my reaction to the piece.
I can't even finish a regular mile in the amount of time the winner finished in. (Note: Nor could I finish drinking a beer in the winning time.)
I can't chug beer.
I can't really chug anything.
Possibly wine ...
Now, I know there are plenty of races that lead you through wine country for the specific purpose of letting you stop and sip.
But I have yet to come across a wine race built around speed instead of savoring. It's even reflected in the distances: a beer mile, but a wine half marathon/full marathon.
I suppose this makes sense, because I also have yet to come across a college culture built around chugging wine — only beer. Please illuminate me if wine-related competitions even exist; the only boasting I hear about wine is a solo person's ability to tuck away a bottle ... or more.
Sure, wine drinkers have a reputation for swirling, staring, sniffing, everything but gulping their drinks. But there's nothing (aside from shattering the sophisticated image) that would prevent them from skipping those steps during a race.
In fact, my love for wine and tepid acceptance of beer aside, I'd think slamming 12 ounces of a carbonated, carbohydrated beverage — then sprinting! — would be much more difficult than gulping 5 ounces of a juicelike drink.
Is that the answer for "why no wine miles?" That it actually would be easier? Or is it just that old habits die hard?