Next Saturday, I’ll be at the Beer Mile World Classic. This week I’ll introduce you to some of the elite competitors at the event. Today, meet Lyndsay Harper.
What are your beer mile qualifications?
I’ve ran a 7:27 on a dirt track in 2014. The atmosphere was very relaxed and very informal – the track was lit by glowsticks and the beers were haphazardly littered around the start line. I’m pumped to see what a little prep and adrenaline will do to improve my time.
What’s your proudest accomplishment to date?
Racing in the 2012 US Olympic Trials in the first round of the women’s 800, then faceplanting with 120 meters to go. Google will show you a perfectly timed mid-air dive. I got up and finished the race in the time of 2:08; not what I was hoping for, but the experience was incredible and I got a great photo from it.
How have you been training for this upcoming race?
Of course. I’ve been maintaining my base fitness – running every day, and having a few beers every other day. I was also up in Tahoe at altitude this past weekend – I did an interval workout followed by some out-of-breath beer chug training incorporated into some strides. Altitude is no joke.
What is your race strategy?
Slow and steady, burp a lot, kick.
Are you going to win?
I’ve got some pretty tough competition out there, some previous and current record holders. I like to be the underdog, there’s no pressure and you have the advantage of surprise. So… maybe.
What is your advice to others training for the beer mile?
Don’t eat right before you attempt a beer mile. The chugging is just as important as the running portion – don’t run so hard that you are completely out of breath and make chugging impossible for yourself. Losing a couple seconds on the run will give back those seconds on the chug.
In the last few years, the beer mile has risen from obscure sport to something that has been in the Wall Street Journal and on ESPN. What is your prediction for the future of the beer mile?
The Beer Mile has always been around, runners are overly competitive, and like to have fun. We’re also a little weird and masochistic. The Beer Mile isn’t about binge drinking, it truly is a physical challenge. It’s incredibly uncomfortable to race with a stomach full of fizz, and much like cross country – it becomes a mental toughness challenge. I think that as soon as the public realizes that this is actually a pretty impressive event – then it will continue gaining momentum and popularity. The fun thing about a Beer Mile, is anyone (over 21) can do it. It doesn’t have to be an official event – it can be anywhere from a few close friends with glowsticks who just want to throw down, or it can be the Beer Mile World Classic.
What’s your go-to beer when you’re not drinking while running a mile?
The Bay Area is home to a ridiculous amount of tasty micro brews and local beers, it’s hard to choose! Right now I’m big into Saisons. Ommegang makes a really good one. Lagunitas is up there, and Anderson Valley Summer Solstice is pretty tasty.