Beer Mile gives runners plenty to cheer about

A new sporting event aimed at appealing to athletes who enjoy a tipple was introduced to Cayman on Saturday – the Beer Mile. 

It involves racing for a mile and drinking a can or bottle of beer four times along the way. 

It was the brainchild of local tennis coach Dale Avery who wanted to put on a treat for triathlete Patrick Loughnane, who returns this week to his homeland of Ireland. It was held at the home of Bill Edwards in SafeHaven. 

The participants were split into two heats with the winner being the fastest of the two races. Competitors started the race by downing a can of beer and proving it empty by tipping it upside down above their head before heading off on a quarter-mile lap. 

At the completion of the first lap, the competitor had to drink another can of beer before setting off for lap two. The process was completed two more times. 

Avery said, “This event attracted a handful of the island’s drunks challenged by a number of known runners. An athlete may be able to run quick, but can the athlete match the drunks for drinking speed?” 

In the first heat, runner Kevin Higgo was the fastest in 8 minutes, 16 seconds. 

In-form masters athlete Derek Larner caught early leader Avery fairly quickly and was able to pull away to win in 7:45 and quickest overall earning a pat on the back as the prize. 

Avery (8:04) was second, Higgo (8:16) third, Kevin Connolly (8:25) came fourth and fifth was Jamie Hughes (8:40). Mike Ridsdale, normally one of the fastest long-distance runners in Cayman, preferred to take his time and savor his drinks. He finished in a leisurely 16:03, three minutes slower than the penultimate finisher Jeff Danter (12:53). 

The first woman home was Jody McFarland in 11:21 who was a little slower than her husband Bill (10:10). 

Bill McFarland celebrates finishing without keeling over.
Bill McFarland celebrates finishing without keeling over.