This past Sunday, the region was at the whims of a seemingly sadistic, sociopath Mother Nature who blasted us with snow. And then melted it. And then hit us again. Such was the case in Pawtucket, RI at the Foolproof brewery, where the snow was pretty much clear by the time the first of the heats went off but returned to blast the competitors on multiple occasions throughout the four heats of the Fool’s Mile II.
Perhaps E-j Hrynowski summed up the event best: “As expected, it’s a really great bad idea.” It seems like there were quite a few run/chuggers out there as many more runners descended on brewery to take part in this second carnation of the event.
Going from September to April isn’t a long time in between races, but race director Bob Jackman explained the thought process behind it: “After the ‘test run’ last Fall, Steve and myself were very excited to get a bigger event going. All of the logistics fell into place in the first running, so it was just a matter of setting the event up more like a race and making sure we got the word out. I believe with a good mix of runners that drink and drinkers that run, we were able to hit our self-imposed max capacity.”
An early spring race in New England comes with its risks, but nobody was thinking snow when they first sa this on the schedule. But according to Bob, that didn’t take away from it at all. “The highlight was the weather…it was the oddest conditions. Random snow squalls pretty much right at the start of each heat. Also, each heat had a good mix of runners to make it all very entertaining. We had sprint finishes, hands on knees beer drinking and of course enthusiastic penalty laps.”
Women’s winner Ali Machnik echoed his thoughts on the weather: “The weather was absolutely nuts! Literally before every heat it started to snow! Then it went away. It was a ominous sign of what was about to come!”
Coming out of the snowy, foamy madness victorious was Steve Jamison and the aforementioned Machnik. Steve ran in the 4th (elite) heat and ran a 7:16.2, while Ali won the day from back in the 2nd heat (9:54.1). For both of them a big scare came in the form of first heat competitors Chris Mancini and Kristyn Wujtewicz. Chris ran a 7:19.6 and Kristyn ran a 10:00.3, both representing the closest competition to the respective winners.
On her race, Ali said: “The only beer type race I’d ever done was a beer/hot dog/beer race. This one at Foolproof I had never tried. My boyfriend and I signed up for it for fun. Of course, fun went away at the sound of the bottle tabs all opening at once. I kept looking back at him to hurry up and chug, but he told me to just go ahead. So I did. Beer 1/Lap 1 seemed easy. Beer 2 took longer to go down. On that run I could start feeling the beer swoosh in my stomach. Beer 3 was the worst. The foam of the beer kept coming up my throat… but I had to hold it down, or else I’d have to do another lap! Finally lap 4, I just went all-in. I thought I’d stop torturing myself and just push it to the end. When I finished, I felt really sick… or maybe it was the feeling of being too full. Either way, I ate my free chicken tenders from the food truck, and then was thirsty again for a beer!”
Some highlights on the day…
Whenever we get the chance, we have to turn the Ultimate Angry Chicken, E-j Hrynowski. In his beer mile debut, E-j finished 9th in Heat 1, running a 10:21.8.
“It was my first, maybe my last but I’ll never say never. Great fun heckling the other heats, didn’t hurt that I had a nice glow on at that point. The weather was classic New England, it was sunny enough that I was wearing sunglasses then a moment later it was snowing like crazy. That was a nice bonus.”
In Heat 3, Tom Bowater won with a 8:00.5, while rocking the Level beanie and singlet. And he wound up being the subject of this instant classic beer mile pic by Scott Mason Photo:
Finally, we get to Heat 4, which featured a couple more familiar names.
Will Lynch ran a 7:57.7 and finished 2nd. If you recall, Will won the inaugural Fool’s Mile back in September in a speedy 7:14.6. Circumstance were different this time around, as there was more competition and the weather was…different. Said Will, “The cold made it difficult to pull the tab on the last couple beers. I felt pretty good until 100m into lap 4 when about 1/4 of a beer came back up on me during a burp, deeming me a 5-lapper. Once again, great event by Foolproof with Bob and Jackie’s coordination
Hope that helps!”
Yeah, so although Will’s time was slower for this one, it does include an extra lap. Not bad when you consider that!
Finally we get to the RD himself, Bob Jackman. Bob ran a 10:38 to finish 9th in Heat 4.
“I don’t go into this event with a great race plan in mind. I am at the race early to set-up and tossing back a few beers before the race enjoying the atmosphere and trying to make sure things go as smooth as possible. So, with that said, I still tried to better last year by trying to run a little slower out of transition and came away with the same result…heading into lap 3 feeling like hell, but being able to hold it in a bit longer, which ultimately made me run slower!”
Will there be another Fool’s Mile? Well, once again we’ll defer to Bob: “Expect bigger and better things at the Fool’s Mile III, the date will be set very soon and it will be an event not to be missed!”
Everybody should be up for a really great bad idea every now and then. Start practicing!
Thanks to Scott Mason Photo for the pics! Check out his galleries for more.