I know I’m not the only one to occasionally be quite overzealous in my views of an event in the immediate aftermath. We often get a little carried away when we are still riding the crest of a wave and this is why I often let the dust settle for a short period before writing my race reviews. I feel this cooling down time allows my opinions to be more measured. In some cases it reduces my enthusiasm but even though I have left this review a lot longer than I normally do, in the case of The Great British Beerathon my enthusiasm hasn’t gone anywhere.
A month on, every time I think back to that Saturday afternoon in Farringdon, London a big smile appears across my face. It’s one of those events that you wish you could go back and do all over again every weekend yet viewing the aftermath it’s probably a good thing for people’s health and for the pavements surrounding Fleet Street that it’s only an annual event.
The Beerathon is a five mile run centred around the Hoop and Grapes pub. After each one mile lap you must partake in the drinking of a great British pint and the eating of a piece of great British food. Fancy dress is a must. It’s limited to 200 participants and always sells out but organisers Bear Belly Running normally squeeze a few more in if they can as all entry fees go straight to Street Child and at just £35 as well as supporting a very worthwhile charity it’s also great value when you consider London drinks prices as well as the food and a medal for your efforts.
As soon as I walked into the pub along with my sister Elise who would be my running/ drinking partner for the next few hours I knew it was going to be a good day. Tables were full of pre poured pints and piles of cling filmed pastry products. There were excited faces dressed in all manor of outfits everywhere. People had made a real effort and although I had four pints to come it just felt right to order a pre race cider to get things under way.
After a bit of mingling in the rear garden and a humorous briefing from event organiser Mr David Hellard it was time to set off. It was easy to forget that there was actually some running involved but it didn’t take long to realise that was going to be almost as entertaining as the drinking/ eating parts as we ran past some bemused workmen before entering the busy street full of shoppers and tourists wondering what an earth was going on as a couple of hundred boozed up fancy dress clad runners came plodding past.
As we arrived back at the public house we were sent upstairs for lager & a pasty to begin with. It was now mid afternoon and I was rather hungry. I wasn’t expecting a culinary delight but I was presently surprised and both food and drink went down a treat and we were off on lap two.
More comical looks from the general public followed with many stopping to take photos, well I suppose it’s not everyday you see the Power rangers, a giant lobster, a gorilla and a bunch of monks running down the road towards you with a belly full of beer!
We then went straight through the bar picking up a cider & a large pork pie on route which again was delicious. Several minutes later (we certainly weren’t being competitive here) we set off on lap three. Although the stomach was getting heavier the running time was flying by and before I knew it I was back round and heading upstairs to the balcony where a pint of bitter & a mini scotch egg awaited.
We took these nice and steady chilling on the top of the steps looking down on a courtyard full of happy faces. There was a real feel good atmosphere going on and I was having an amazing time.
Going out on the forth lap it was clear that the booze and fodder weren’t staying down too well for many as puddles of vomit were all too apparent. Predictably things had got messy!
Elise and I however managed to keep our intake down and completed the penultimate lap before entering the garden for 20 fluid ounces of stout & a huge chocolate muffin. Time seemed to pass us by as we watched a stag party playing some drinking games and it wasn’t until someone lent over us to retrieve their jacket and we caught a glimpse of their medal that we remembered we had another lap to run. We finished off and headed out.
Spending the last lap chatting about how much fun we were having it was soon over and we too had medals around our necks. All that was left was a bit more drinking (we’d all had enough food by this point) and the amusing pre race presentation from David. Inevitably most awards were decided by a downing competition before everyone continued the party in their own ways.