Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mikkeller World Beer Mile Championship 2018 {Race Recap}

On Tuesday night I boarded a plane for Copenhagen, Denmark. It was an uneventful flight and I slept a few hours. 

I landed in CPH 8 hours later-  around 1:30pm, got my stuff and headed to the air bnb we rented in Vestebro. 

We got a shawarma (Kylling Duram) from the world famous Kebabistan and got settled. 

A few hours later we headed to Baghavn to participate in the 2018 Danish World Beer Mile Championship. 

I love Baghavn. It is located on the water and has an amazing view of Copenhagen. 
We immediately started running into friends- like Henrik. 

After hanging out for a bit, we got our bibs and started getting ready to tackle this beast of a race. 

I stretched out my calves and did some strides. I wondered what a proper warmup would entail for a beer mile- should I pound half a beer and run 200m? 

I stood with the other women in the heat and tried to look serious in the setting sun. (I think we started our heat around 9:10pm) 

Got my beer mile game face on. 

My PR from last year was 15:xx- half  the time was drinking half was running. I knew my only area for significant improvement was to drink much faster because I knew I wouldn’t be running a 3:30 mile ever to compensate for the slow drinking. On Tuesday at work, I chugged a la croix. Nailed it. 

I had put down that I would drink/run 10:20- after submitting it to the race organizer I immediately thought how in the world would I ever shave 5 minuets off my time? Yolo. 

I was nervous. I didn’t want to come in last- my competition looked fierce. I also didn’t want to feel like crap. 
Some people even made sweet signs!

After watching the elites in their heat, I was shocked to learn we would be drinking out of bottles. I was worried because I had only practiced with cans. I never went over the logistics of opening a bottle - something I rarely do now since most beers we buy are canned. I also haven’t drank out of a bottle in ages. 

I started my watch and fumbled with the bottle to get it open and started drinking as fast as I could. One by one, the ladies started taking off for their run. I was still drinking. 

And soon I was DFL still drinking my beer as everyone else was out running. Shit. I took off running and started catching people. 

About 200m into the first lap I realized I forgot to clock the beer split. Damn. The first 400 consisted of trying to burp as much as possible to make space for the next 3 beers. 

I passed a bunch of women on the run which made me feel better- and then I was back at the table for #2.  I  fumbled with the bottle again to open it. 2nd beer was just as tough as the first. 

With 2nd beer finished, I took off around the warehouses picking off faster drinkers. Burps And burps on burps for this lap. 

3rd beer was easier to open and seemingly more difficult to drink. I was uncomfortable. The beer would be ok to drink- but as soon as I stopped to take a breath, it would foam up making it difficult to consume. 

3rd lap felt gross. More burps- and a near miss for puking. I would have been ok with puking at this point but it was just a crazy big burp. 

4th beer/lap was a welcome sight. I was ready to be done. There was a lady in our heat that could empty the bottle in no more than 5 seconds. I was fixated on her each time I saw her drinking. It was magnificent. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how she could drink so fast. 

4th lap was more of the same- although I pushed myself really hard the last 200m because I heard someone coming up behind me and I didn’t want them to pass me. I crossed the finish and was so happy to be done. And I didn’t get passed. 

I got a new PR by 5 minutes! Insane. Since I sucked at getting splits I can only offer the following insight as to how I shaved 1:15/lap off my time. 

I was competitive AF. Instead of laughing and taking 3 minutes to drink a single beer, I focused on trying to drink as fast as possible. I’m sure my beers were consumed in less than 45 seconds each. 

I’m sure I didn’t run markedly faster than my last 2 beer miles. I’d imagine I ran around 7:00-7:30 tops. 3 minutes of beer drinking seems reasonable to me. 

After coming back to life, I spectated L for his heat of the beer mile. Going into this race he held the house record for beer mile. Would he remain the champ?
Soon he was off and I was cheering and snapping pictures of him. 

I was annoying and asking him how he felt while drinking. Sorry k?

After 4 beers and 4 laps, L finished in a respectable 11:xx. The house record was now mine. 

We had to take selfies to cement this memory for perpetuity. 

Night fell on Baghavn and it was even more beautiful. 

The awards ceremony was held and we didn’t place. The lead women finished in 8:xx. Blazing fast. The first guy finished in 5:26 I think. 

We met the Swedish beer mile team. They are a bunch of cool dudes who travel around Europe doing beer miles. We asked them how many beer miles they’ve done, and they replied 70-80. 

They also mentioned that before they go out for the weekend, sometimes they will do a beer mile. They also kicked ass later in the week for the Grill Pong Championship And won first. 

Against all logic, I had one more beer post beer mile- a delicious passion fruit sour from Baghavn while we chatted with friends. Around midnight we walked to catch a bus with a friend to go back to town. 

We got back to the center station and started walking towards our flat. On the empty street we suddenly heard “MRC Chicago!” And turned around to see fellow MRC Copenhagen runners who were also walking to their place-a totally random encounter. We stopped for another shawarma Kylling Duram (chicken shawarma wrap) from another place because we were hungry. 

We ended up going over to our friend’s place for a few more beers and ate our Duram while we chatted and then went home around 2. 

First night in Copenhagen was crazy and awesome. 

I love this town. 


  1. What a crazy fun night indeed!

    I didn't think about how it was going to be light so late there because of how north it is. But there's still so much sun in your 9 pm pics! What time did the sun set?

    Man, bottles! What!!! Those tricky bastards! Congrats on your PR and the new house record. Did you ask the lady who could drink it in 5 secs for any tips?!

    That's cool that the Swedish team travels to do these. What a fun hobby!

  2. Woohoo! Great PR! I guess next time you will have to be prepared for bottles (also woof isn't it much tougher to chug a bottle!?)