I was lucky enough to get a free entry into the Beer Fest 5k and Lawn Games Tournament this past weekend, through the Active Advantage Membership program (random free entries come up for grabs every now and then). The timing for this giveaway was perfect as I had just found out some friends from RVRR had signed up.
The event is billed as a 5k with beer stations, and lawn games, hot dogs and beer after the “race” – I put race in quotes because no times are posted, although there is a clock if you want to know your time.
With only 3 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon I maybe should have been doing a final long run instead, so to compensate I decided to cycle the (almost) 13 miles to get there – the thought process also included the fact there would be lots of beer and therefore it was probably best not to drive. I knew I could get a train back too if necessary.
Beer was available in advance of the 5k (which was scheduled to start at 11am) so a quick one before heading to the start was in order. As usual I wasn’t planning on going fast, but of course, when other people are, you just can’t help yourself (or at least I can’t). However, by the time the first beer station came around at just under a mile, I did stop and have a beer before continuing the run.
The course was basically 3 laps of the park, so at about mile 2 you passed the beer station again. I decided not to bother again (partly because I wasn’t sure my stomach could handle it, but also because I thought it would be better to make it to the finish as quickly as possible to get to the craft beers at the finish).
Being one of the early ones back there was no line for beer so that was a bonus, but as people started coming in the lines got longer but moved reasonably fast.
It was still busy when the lawn games started. This part seemed a little disorganized at first (mainly because announcements were easy to miss), but it seemed to settle down, although at one point we think we must have missed a change over because we had done all the games when they announced it was over. It’s not like we were in contention for any prizes or anything, but we do go over to play the final game anyway.
Beer was still flowing (although with fewer options) and the crowd was thinning out, so I took advantage of that. When it came time I decided to cycle home and not take the train – it was a pleasant ride in, so I thought it would be nice to ride back.
Unfortunately what I hadn’t realized is how strong the wind was by now, and the ride home was into the wind. Also, I had failed to realize that my ride to the race was largely downhill. That, combined with the alcohol, made it a tough ride. I was exhausted by the time I got home.