Apr 22, 2017
The Barlow in Sebastopol was filled to capacity on Saturday, April 15 with runners and beer fans from far and wide enjoying an event in the heart of Beer Country for the first IPA 10K and Beer Mile Invitational.
Approximately 1,100 runners set off from the McKinley Street starting line with a pre-race beer shot courtesy of Crooked Goat Brewery, one of several local breweries on hand serving legendary Sonoma County ales.
After the ceremonial beer, runners followed a 6.2-mile course that looped around High School and Occidental roads, returning via Highway 116 and the Joe Rodota Trail. Finishers were rewarded with a pre-10 a.m. beer, music and plenty of gastronomic opportunities, and the spectacle of the first “beer mile” to take place in the area.
“There were a lot of hills, but it was a great course with great beer,” Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital ICU nurse Philip Lofgren said.
Lofgren and a group of fellow nurses took to the road in support of colleague John Gorman, who arranged their entry into the event, but was unable to participate because he broke his neck in a mountain biking accident in the weeks leading up to the race.
“He’s doing better and hopefully he’ll be back in the saddle soon,” Lofgren said.
After everyone had a chance to recover and hydrate from the 8 a.m. race, the Beer Mile Invitational took place, a suds filled competition complete with “chug zones” and garbage cans set up for puking. The event featured some of the best beer-milers in the world running four quarter-mile laps and chugging a beer after each leg.
After the individual event, teams representing the breweries competed for the coveted beer mile shoe trophy.
Brandon Shirck from Oak View, the men’s winner of the individual event, currently holds the third-place world record for the beer mile at 4:47. Shirck completed to course in an impressive 5:36 and later competed in the team event with fellow beer-milers Garrett Cullen, from Mountain View, and Tyler Deniston, from Concord.
“This is the first time I’ve competed in an American event,” Shirck said. “The music and people are great and this is a great running community.”
San Franciscan Lindsay Harper was the women’s individual winner, completed the course — and not puking — in an impressive 7:34.
“I’ve run a few of these before and it’s really fun after,” Harper said. “But the race itself is painful and bloaty.”
But Sebastopol resident Ernesto Aubin summed it up best: “It’s a great course, with great weather and a great idea,” he said. “It’s the greatest combination of suds and athletic determination seen locally in years.”
The event was produced by Destination Races and hosted by The Barlow and featured beers poured by Sonoma County breweries including Bear Republic, Woodfour, Crooked Goat, 101 North, Petaluma Hills, St. Florian, Hopmonk, Lagunitas, Sonoma Springs, Hen House and 3 Disciples, which won the team beer mile event.
Money raised by individual runners benefitted Sonoma County Court Appointed Special Advocates program.
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