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An open letter to Lance Armstrong


Image via Deadspin

Dear Lance,

Yesterday was a very bad day for you. Sure, you were dogged by allegations and indictments for years, but it gets real when you’re abandoned by all your sponsors.

Nike led the charge and was followed by Trek, Giro, FRS, Honey Stinger, 24 Hour Fitness and Radio Shack. Ouch.

Anheuser-Busch was also among the sponsors who chose not to renew its contract with you. Though as Deadspin reported, you’re still going to take one last awkward ride for Michelob Ultra, as advertised in Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated. Have fun with that.

I don’t mean to be glib, but I wonder if all this could have been avoided if you just drank a craft beer once in awhile. Let me explain.

Looking back, we all got caught up in the fairy tale of your seven Tour de France victories. It was a heady mix of inspiration, determination and patriotism. Winning feels good. Really good.

But the problem is when it becomes a zero sum game. By all accounts, you were beyond obsessed with winning and forced this win-at-all-costs attitude on others around you. You were a jerk, to put it lightly.

I encourage you to watch the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*.” It interviews everyone from kids to amateur weightlifters to pro athletes who are motivated to take performance enhancing drugs because they believe that not winning equals failure. We’re all complicit in this culture.

We all need to relax and look at the big picture.  Is winning worth cheating, alienating everyone around you and jeopardizing your health? Maybe you have a different answer today than you did as you were winning accolade after accolade.

There is an alternative. The beer runner philosophy is all about balancing the enjoyment of craft beer with a healthy active lifestyle. This makes it OK to have something beyond an ultra light beer. You get the best of both worlds.

You could even have a performance enhancing craft beer. Sorry, too soon?

Good luck. You’re going to need it.


The Beer Runner


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at]

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