Yesterday Gareth and Joachim staged the second beer mile in Japan. The last one was nearly 3 years ago on an evening with five competitors (I didn't run that time due to a bout of back spasms, a fate which, fate would have it, Gareth suffered this time). Yesterday there were some 14 competitors and we ran it in two shifts. I was in the second shift. In the photo below you can see me throwing down my can and setting off on the run after being the first to finish my beer. But the guy inverting his beer on his head, Chad, was obviously right behind me, and thus the stage for a hard-fought race was set.
I think I led Chad into the second beer station, but he got away first this time. We had a great battle through the race and were always within a few seconds of each other, though he pulled away from me a bit on the last leg as I struggled a little more with my last beer, and then had to slow my running pace a bit to stop my tummy from ejecting ballast. Chaddo finished in a superb 7:42 and I came in with a respectable 8:06. I was really hoping to break 8:00. At least my race didn't end in ignomony, and in fact 8:06 is good enough for 55th in the world in my age group...for now. A mark to be improved at the next installment I hope, though top ranking in the world in my age group would require some extremely fast drinking and my flat-out running pace! not very likely, yet I am sure I have some improvement in me. Ganbarimasu!
All results are here. Satohi was astounding with her sub 9:00 performance. Third fastest overall
and 35th fastest woman in the whole wide world! Yeeayy! Champions everywhere!
Big ups to Gareth, Joachim and Christiane for superb organizing!!