29 September 2012

Bridle Trails Beer Ultra

For a few years now the Seattle Running Club has put on a super fun, very low-key event known as the 'Bridle Trails Beer Ultra' or the 'Fat Glass 50k' like it said on our numbers.

Did someone say beer...?!

Oh yes. Here are the rules.

  • There are two start times. When they say GO the first time you start drinking. When they say GO the second time (5 minutes later) you better be done so you can start running.
  • At the end of each lap you drink another (16 oz party cup) of beer.
  • Your time for each lap is recorded after you finish your beer.
  • The route is a 5-mile loop through Bridle Trails Park and you can run up to six laps.
  • I found out later that being a teetotaler is optional.
  • The beer was a 6% IPA. Very tasty. Thank you American Brewing!

Entry is free if you are a Seattle Running Club Member and a low, low $15 donation if you are not. Or you could join on the spot, pay your annual dues and then not pay for the run. Nice.

The event was extremely well supported by the host Peter Kline whose house we started at and who let us use all of the bathrooms in his home and by Eric Sach and the The Balanced Athlete who provided the beer (two kegs AND ADDITIONAL BOTTLES AND CANS) and loads of product from PowerBar and Nuun. There were doughnuts too. I ate some. Seemed appropriate with the beer.

Having just started to ramp up my running and thinking I might go for another run tomorrow I set a goal of completing four laps. I accomplished my goal!

With the exception of one guy that went out faster, the main group all stuck together for the first lap and it did not feel intimidating so I hung with the bunch. Loop through the aid station/start/finish, drink a beer, record my time, grab some food, top off my bottle and head out with the same group.

During lap 2 Eric disappeared in the woods but he was back pretty quick and when he caught us he went right past at a distinctly faster pace. The words out of his mouth as he blew by were, "I had to take a dump."

As I pulled into the aid station Eric was just leaving. After lap 2 I got out of the aid station much faster than everyone else; it seems I can drink beer quicker than most of these runners. :) So I started lap 3 alone. And I finished it alone. I looked back a couple of times but never saw anyone. As I pulled into the aid station there was Eric once again and this time he did not pull out as I arrived so we chatted a bit while drinking. it was like being at a bar with friends except that we were just about to hit the trail again.

Starting lap 4 was a little tougher. The aid station is at the bottom of a one-block hill and I walked that every time but this time I walked a few steps further and then instead of breaking into a run had to jog and ramp it up. Still, I felt okay, just tired.

As I worked my way through lap 4 I started to (of course) entertain thoughts of doing more laps and perhaps even finishing the whole thing but then about three or four miles into the loop I found myself walking. Oops. I got going very quickly but it was a bit of a wakeup call. Then I had to walk again. That sealed it, I was pulling the plug after this lap. Rolling into the aid station felt sweet knowing there was a ton of food, beer and sun waiting for me. Here I am sitting with the guy that started fast, I'm done and he's going back out. He was having a heck of a time drinking his beer. I had no idea drinking could be that difficult.


I would heartily recommend this event to anyone. The adjustable distance, the camaraderie, the lack of stress, all awesome. I had a great time will be back for sure.

I'm also happy with my performance. I did trail off some toward the end but not nearly as much as I felt like I did.

Here are all the pictures.

Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:00 AM - apple sauce, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 scoops Perpetuem, Udo's Oil, walnuts, water
8:40 AM - gel
Workout Food 5 16 oz beers, 5 gels, about 10 PowerBar Energy Blasts, 1 bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun, 1 bottle Nuun.
Time of Day 9:00 AM
Workout Type race
Weather mid 50s at the start, 70s by my finish
Course mostly flat, mostly hard pack gravel trail, only one climb of note
Results for what it's worth, I think I was in 3rd when I 'dropped'
Time 3:05:12
Distance 20.57 miles
Pace 9:00
Equipment Brooks Cascadia 7, hand-held bottle (with emergency gel that I never used)
Clothing Brooks Infinity Short III

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