A few weeks ago, my friend Jen and I decided to sign up for the Indianapolis TapNRun, a beer-themed run around Broad Ripple Village in Indianapolis, my stomping grounds. The 4K race featured small beer cups to chug at each water station, as well as a full beer at the end, and it was being sponsored by one of my favorite craft breweries, Chicago’s Goose Island. It’s billed as a very low key, non-competitive, fun race. Additionally, people evidently wear ridiculous outfits. Um, hello. We had to sign up!
The race was only 2.5 miles, but Jen and I hadn’t been training at all. I established a rudimentary training plan (four runs, in addition to our twice-weekly spin classes). We’ve been traveling for weddings literally every weekend for the last five weeks, so I managed only three runs. However, I was pretty proud of how well my cardiovascular endurance from spin class held up! On my second run, I was able to run two miles at a 10:30 pace without much trouble. Compared to the first time I tried to run a few years ago, it was a total breeze! I’ve been really consistent with spinning for the last six months, and it was so cool to see it pay off in the form of better physical endurance, even if I’ve still been struggling to get the pounds off.
We registered as team Smarty Pints and dressed up in suspenders and nerdy classes.
We walked to the start point, which was only around a mile from our house. It was HOT. I’m talking 90-degrees-no-breeze hot. It started at 5 p.m., and I’d spent the whole day at an outdoor craft fair downtown, so I was worried I’d already spent too much time in the heat and on my feet. I started to get a little nervous.
However, as soon as we arrived at the start line, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Watching “runners” smoke cigarettes and chug full beers just minutes before the race, it was clear no one takes it too seriously! People were wearing everything from old prom dresses to ’80s workout gear to tutus. A couple guys were “Team Crotch Rockets,” and let’s just say they had fashioned rather phallyic appendages out of foam noodles and Solo cups, and then proceeded to hang these devices from their waists. It was freaking hilarious and Jen and I were totally cracking up.
Soon, it was time for our wave to run. We were handed 4 oz. cups of beer, chugged them, and with that we were off! I paced myself and did pretty well for almost the whole first mile. Then, we turned onto College Avenue in Broad Ripple. It was a long stretch with no beer station in sight, and the heat was unforgiving. With the start line beer sloshing around in my stomach and the heat beating down on me, I started feeling pretty rough. I had no choice but to stop and walk. My legs and body felt terrible after a whole day in the heat (not to mention several drinks and not enough sleep the night before). Jen and I played “Pick a Landmark and Run Until There” for the next stretch, then ran to the beer station, where we chugged another 4 oz. along with some water.
We ran strong to the next water station, only stopping to walk once. We chugged yet another 4 oz. cup, and Jen dumped several water cups over my head to cool me down, saying, “You’ll either hate me for this or love me for it!” It felt great, though!
We walked and ran to the next station, passing tons of spectators cheering us on. At this point, the combination of beer and heat was making us both feel pretty dizzy. Almost everyone was walking. We walked a good chunk of the last stretch, then ran strong to the finish line. A full 16 oz. pint awaited us, along with cool medals that looked like bottle openers! We had to get a picture with a guy wearing some, ahem, very interesting underwear over his clothes.
Even though it was gruelingly hot, the race was SO FUN and will absolutely be an annual tradition moving forward. We ended up finishing in 31:06, just falling short of our goal to finish in under half an hour. Not bad for my second-ever race and almost no training, though! I told Jen, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to someday beat our 4K run time when running a whole 5K?” I think I officially have a goal for the Drumstick Dash this fall!