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  • They say a beer mile levels the playing field and this picture proves it. Running phenom, Richard Verney (winner of the ’94 Catalina Marathon, tries to extend his lead over Don “The Jacket” Norcross, sports columnist from the San Diego Union Tribune – whoa, who’d have thunk it?!

    Defending champion, Mike “The Brewery” Drury, wasn’t going down without a fight. The Brewery spent the entire race near the front and, while a year of hard work paid off with a 28-second improvement on last year’s time, 7:02 was only good enough for 5th place this year, which was testament to the quality of this year’s field.

    Is there anyone happier than a beer miler 10-minutes after they finish? Mark & Linda Vigil and Billy Duvel demonstrate pure, unadulterated glee.

    Triathlete Magazine’s senior editor, Jay Prasuhn had no idea what he was in for as is evidenced by this mid-swallow grimace…and you thought triathlons were tough!

    Greg Welch and friend, Vince, bookend Greg’s wife Sian who was a dark horse pick who remained a threat throughout the race but was finally put away by last year’s champion, Heather Fuhr. Greg helped officiate but was also there to offer advice to his wife as she pursued the one title that still matters. Coaches and scientists have run computer models that predict that the little kangaroo from Cronulla would have run/drank a mile in the neighborhood of 4minutes and 45-seconds in his day – amazing!

    Perhaps the biggest shock of the evening for the front runners was the presence of Roch “Go, eh” Frey. Coach Roach was coming off a tough year of very little running as he rehabbed a repaired torn ACL. Evidently, he worked very hard on his beer drinking as some witnesses recorded splits of just 6-seconds to down a 12-ounce can of MGD – you gotta want it.

    Terry Martin gave Heather Fuhr and Sian Welch everything they could handle at the front of the women’s race but what else would you expect from a Canadian? We don’t recall Terry looking this happy when she won the ’94 Ironman Canada…maybe they need beer at aid stations.

    Terry “clean living” Taylor came down for the SFO Bay area and was one of those who couldn’t round up a designated driver. No matter, being committed to the core, Terry showed up anyway with a 4-pack of O’Douls non-alcoholic beer…and suffered just like everyone else.

    Dave Kloz in full flight…is that spillage on his shirt? Will there be a protest? Evidently, one of the dangers of drinking Guinness during a beer mile is the fact that a white shirt will show every drop of spillage and subject you to the post race scrutiny of your peers. Memo to Kloz, next time wear a brown shirt.

    Another beer mile is in the books and another group of very happy individuals starts 2006 with a big smile…note Charlie “Charlie?” Nagy in the front row left side sporting a can in each hand – already training for next year!


    Annual Encinitas Beer Mile* – Part 2 - Improving on Perfection

    They say that you can’t improve on perfection. Perfection is a word many used to describe the inaugural Encinitas Beer Mile on December 31st of 2004 and the skepticism was discernible as word started to spread of a second edition. The conditions that would be required to reproduce the festive, no, down right jubilant atmosphere of the first event were considered to be a veritable perfect storm of weather conditions, idiots, and, of course, beer. As fate would have it the first significant rain of the winter arrived on December 31st, 2005, the idiots, who it seems multiplied since last year, were ready and willing, and the liquor store was having a sale on, you guessed it, beer. So it was that an out of category beer mile was spawned.

    The same scenario as in ‘04 played out again this year with a similar cast of characters plus about 20 additional idiots (there seems to be no shortage) but this time adherence to the rules (yes, there are actually rules) listed on became part of the obvious challenge that includes four 12-ounce beer (note, Canadians don’t pluralize the word and, after all, aren’t they the experts?) and 4-laps around a track. Those who had participated for the first time in ’04 were one year wiser and wanted to officially carve their name into history. Only by strictly adhering to the rules would this happen. Many claimed to be a “beer miler” but no one had yet become the genuine article. It’s kind of like playing putt-putt and calling yourself a golfer…spending a day at Big Surf in the Arizona desert and calling yourself a surfer… doing an Ironman 70.3 race and calling yourself an Ironman…sleeping at a Holiday Inn and calling yourself a doctor…you get the idea.

    The number one change from ’04 to ’05 for most competitors would be the beer. No more Corona, Pacifico, or Coors Light, all fine beer to be sure (well, ok, someone did drink Coors Light but this was their first year), but none on the approved list. Basically, if it’s not 5% alcohol by volume, it’s not officially approved beer. Murphy “Rule of Law” Reinschreiber, the uber umpire, would ensure that those who wanted to be among the few, the proud, the officially sanctioned “beer miler” at the finish line were quaffing the real deal. The most popular brand seemed to be Miller Genuine Draft but that wasn’t for lack of creativity. Because the venue is used by the public, we wanted to ensure there was no chance of broken glass and MGD seemed to be the most palatable option that was in a can.

    Like last year, the women folk were given the option of equality with the guys but, like last year, all chose to start the race with their first lap instead of a beer. By foregoing the first can, you’d think the lead might have been more than it was over the men who had to down twelve ounces before setting off in pursuit – not the case at all. Roch Frey and a couple of others seemed to inhale their first beer and had overhauled the leading women 200-meters into the race. Paula Newby-Fraser overheard Frey puffing “the hell with pacing” and he motored by on the back straight. The strategy would pay off as the newly shorn Canadian (soon to be American) ended up fourth in 7-minutes flat – holy smokes, eh! The women, who all decided that three beer was plenty still blazed to new race records – though their accomplishments would not be officially recognized. There were rumors after the race that, though Heather had not consumed any beer since 1983, her goal for the December 31st, 2006 event was the full quota of 4-beer – just like the guys. Upon the dissemination of this revelation, the sound of cans and bottles opening could be heard everywhere. The gauntlet had been thrown down and it would be another year of relentless training.

    Results for the 2nd Annual Encinitas Beer Mile - the culmination of a season of preparation.

    We salute every competitor’s heroic efforts to get to the most alluring and yet elusive finish line in all of sport.

    Thanks to Murphy "The Rule of Law" Reinschreiber for officiating and Joe "Check" Czech for timing. Thanks to all the spouses, friends, and kids (kids?!) who were there to help out, cheer and/or serve as designated drivers.

    1. David "I'm Not Santa" Kloz (not sure about the spelling of his last name) - 6:46* - Guinness - Men's Overall - Winner of the coveted Surfing Beer Monkey + the bonus 32-ounce bottle of King Cobra for the over all title - * denotes new race record
    2. Peter "The Cleat" Ligotti - 6:49 - Coors
    3. Doug "Glory Days" Miller - 6:56 - Miller Genuine Draft
    4. Roch "Go, eh" Frey - 7:00 - MGD
    5. Mike "The Brewery" Drury - 7:02
    6. Paul "El Eructo" Huddle - 7:14 - MGD
    7. Marc "Another Tinny Please" Lees - 7:20 - Corona
    8. Richard "Kiwi" Verney - 7:21 - MGD
    9. Heather "No Beer Fear" Fuhr - 7:23* - Female Overall - Winner of the coveted Surfing Beer Monkey - Corona - (3-beer, eh) - * denotes new race record
    10. Jason "Tougher than Clough" Tuffs - 7:30 - MGD
    11. Andrew "Triple Bock" Block - 7:38 - MGD
    12. Sian "Look At Me" Welch - 7:38 - Pabst Blue Ribbon
    13. Terry "Oh Canada" Martin-Duvel - 7:59 - Coors
    14. Charlie "Charlie?" Nagy - 8:00 -
    15. Rob "Hard Core" Evans - 8:24 - Pacifico
    16. Terry "Clean Living" Taylor - 8:25 - O'Douls Non-Alcoholic
    17. Mark "What Wife?" Vigil - 8:36 - Coors
    18. Brian "Cinderella Story" Miller - 8:52 - Coors
    19. Paula "Uno Mas" Newby-Fraser - 9:15 - Corona (3-beer, eh)
    20. Linda "Have Another" Vigil - 9:30 (ish) - Best Drunk Award (3-beer, eh) - Coors
    21. Billy "Water Boy" Duvel - 9:35 - Coors
    22. Tim "I'm Drowning" Lachow - 9:43 - MGD
    23. Tony "AARP" Glover - 9:54 – some import in a bottle
    24. Chris "Go Chargers" Mottino - 10:00 - Pacifico
    25. Brian "White Trash" Wells - 10:20 - Coors Light
    26. Jay Prasuhn - 10:40 - Tecate
    27. Don "The Jacket" Norcross - 10:54 - Coors
    28. JT "Rough & Tough" Clough - 10:58 - Corona (3-beer, eh)
    29. Merritt "Who Are These People" Jackman - 11:15 – some import in a bottle
    30. Brian "Foaming Mayhem" Culley - some import in a bottle - yikes!
    Brian’s time is unknown but thought to be around 8:00 including penalty lap for throwing up three times (a new record).

    * does NOT condone irresponsible consumption of alcohol. The views expressed above are in no way a reflection of Really, they’re not.