A Pirate Run, and Should There Be Beer Afterwards?

drunken pirate flag

A new year in Tampa Bay usually means the imminent arrival of pirates, but here at TampaSportsFitness, it also means a reason to get back to running ASAP. Not because the numerous fitness resolutions have suddenly made the gyms very popular, but because running pirates will soon descend upon the bay area.

Yes, the 2013 Gasparilla Distance Classic fast approaches, and like last year the race course puts both runners and adoring crowds within easy access of proof that God loves us and he wants us to be happy.

As part of the weekend of events with the Gasparilla Distance Classic, this year’s run also includes three racing challenges sponsored by beer manufacturers. The Michelob Ultra Challenge consists of running the 15K, 5K, Half Marathon and 8K. In addition to the individual event runner premiums, those choosing to partake of the challenge get a bunch of medals, shirts, and other assorted goodies if they finish.

Likewise, the Beck’s Light Challenge will be just like the Michelob Ultra Challenge, but without the Gasparilla 8K. And the Select 55 Challenge will be like the Michelob Ultra Challenge and Beck’s Light Challenge, but without the Gasparilla 5K and Half Marathon 15K on Saturday and 8K on Sunday. Further details on those events can be found here.

In a bit of sly-though-probably-not-intentional, these beer-sponsored challenges come off as a wink and nod to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival itself, where the term “inebriated” gets thrown around like a bead necklace.

But while drinking and long-distance running may seem an odd pairing, these beer-sponsored races piqued the interest of TampaSportsFitness, mostly because we’ve noticed the trend of beer in and around races lately. Both the Tough Mudder and Zombie Runs held late in 2012 offered a free beer upon completion of their courses. And TampaSportsFitness documented the existence of running clubs that go out for a beer upon completion of their run.

Granted, both Tough Mudder and the Zombie Run are more long-distance obstacle courses than traditional distance races. And while a free brew is not one of the prizes being offered for finishing the GDC, it did get us wondering if partaking of a brew so soon after running a long distance was really a good idea.

The result: most agree that drinking a beer right after running a long distance probably isn’t the best idea, or at least not until you put something else in the tank first. But some evidence was offered on the benefits of some lager during training.

What do you think, gentle readers? Anyone participating in the GDC? And does anyone know more about beer in a runner’s diet?

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