April 18, 1998
Official Race Site
|10||Rob Mitchell||7:30.0||M||Amherst, boot + penalty lap|
|25||Kathryn Van Nimwegen||9:31.0||F||Wesleyan|
|29||Michael J. Fox-Boyd||10:04.0||M||Wesleyan|
(many results missing)
Despite the remote location of most NESCAC track teams' Saturday, April 18th contests, seven of the eleven league schools were represented at the first annual NESCAC Beermile Championships. The results are still coming in, but it looks like Amherst, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan and Williams combined to produce a 75-100 person field.
After pre-race team pep talks, an occasional Tufts streak attempt, and the organization of the placement of 400+ beers, the runners (men, women, children, alumni) were all started about an hour after the originially planned tip-back time of 10:00-10:30pm. Each team was allowed a single lane to start all of their team members and exchange the brew, though the well-intended exchange became a free-for-all on lap two.
Amherst's decathalete Steve Contreras '99 was first out of the blocks and never looked back. He won by 11 seconds in a potential new world record 5:40.12. Tufts' Dana Bellows managed to cross the line just before Allen Nunnally '99 of Amherst who out-squeeked Eric Lavigne '98 of Trinity and Patrick Butler '98 of Wesleyan. The results are still a bit sketchy, but in the coming days, we hope to "attempt" to clear up some confusion. Potentially also in the top ten (under 6:54) were estimated to be Gabe Wieder '98 of Wesleyan, Paul Alsdorf '99 of Williams, and a few more Tufts men. Rob Mitchell '99 of Amherst deserves mention as his top five pacing was destroyed by his lunch resurfacing, but nonetheless finished in close to 7:30 with a penalty lap.
On the womens' side (no, not the beer), Wesleyan took first and second in 7:34 and 7:44 (note: all women drank FOUR not three beers [or tried to]). The largest competiting teams in this division were Wesleyan, Amherst and Tufts.
A possible reason for the confusion in scoring was the guest appearance of the local police who decided to join the fun about 10-12 minutes after the race started. After close to 100 people scattered in all directions to return to race HQ for a post-party, the cops commented that they were only concerned with our panicking, not our rowdy shenanigans.
Let the record reflect that close to 40 people ran sub 8:00, while another 25 or so broke 10 minutes. What must have been the largest field in the sport's history will make for a good story for years to come.
See Amherst College newspaper clipping on the event...