I arrived in Austin too late to attend the Beer Mile World Championships press conference, but the word is Sweden's Markus Liwing was a mess after setting a world record Monday in the Beer Half Marathon. A beer every mile for 13 miles. The European beer mile record holder shattered the former half marathon record by over 2hrs with his 2h46', and he'll be lining up for tonight's mile. Guy'll become an instant legend if he pulls off an upset over this field.
We have 10 in the elite men's race, and six of them have goal times faster than the current world record. This race will be scrutinized, though, and so I wouldn't be surprised to see times a bit slower than personal bests. Judges will be tipping cans after each beer. Disqualification if there's anything remaining. The favourites are Nick Symmonds (3:51 open mile, 5:19 beer mile), and Corey Gallagher (5:01 beer mile, #2 all-time) but the field's tight. Tough to call the win. The biggest news right now is the venue change. Flotrack had secured a high-school track for the race, and were called last night to say we have to move. The high-school is on heritage land and they'd prefer it if we don't race the beer mile there. We'll move to the Circuit of the Americas track, an F1 site, which means a) we'll be running on pavement (no spikes, and a number of us didn't bring flats), and b) if anyone breaks the world record, it won't count. Otherwise things are going ahead as scheduled, and nobody here is griping. We're just enjoying being a part of it.
After I checked into my room I joined former women's record holder Seanna Robinson for a bite at a German Sausage place on Rainey street. Charming spot in an old converted home. Bratwurst sausage on a pretzel bun, and a dish of roasted beets, squash and kale. Seanna's superstitious about drinking the night before a beer mile, but neither of us had tried Hops and Grain, the race's sponsor, and we didn't want to go in cold. We ordered two cans of the Greenhouse IPA. Not the race beer (they're canning up a special low-carbonation brew for the event), but it gave us an idea of what to expect. Mine took 7.5 seconds.