Thursday, June 24, 2010

A different kind of triathlon

In a general sense, most triathlons are pretty much the same. Almost all of them involve the same three events (swimming, biking and running), most of them take place at a lake and all of them end with competitors crossing a finish line of some sort.

However, the Hermosa Beach Ironman out in California is anything but your typical triathlon.

Held annually on the Fourth of July, the Ironman takes place at a South Bay beach along the Pacific Ocean. For the cool price of a $20 entry fee, participants begin the race by running a mile on the beach and paddling their surf board for a mile in the ocean (participants are required to supply their own long board).

After those two events comes the most difficult leg of the race: chugging beer. Rather than crossing a finish line, participants have to polish off a 6-pack of their own beer to finish the race. The one catch: They have to be able to hold down the beer in order to be eligible to win. I was going to show a clip of race, but since every video I saw of it turned into a montage of vomiting (imagine that), I won't subject my readers to watching any of it.

However, I will subject my readers to watching a clip of the closest comparison I can think of to this very unique race: The beer-chugging tricycle race in "Revenge of the Nerds." In that scene, competitors had to race child-sized tricycles around a track and had to chug a beer after each lap. Enjoy!

All humor aside, this isn't a race I'd want to compete in. For one thing, I know as much about surfing as I do about astrophysics (in other words, not that much). Also, as much as I enjoy challenging myself physically, I'm not all about subjecting my body to senseless abuse. The last thing anybody needs after physically exerting themelves is slamming six beers in rapid succession. Even if you're capable of keeping it down, imagine the damage the beer is doing to your stomach, liver and digestive system. Aside from that, you're almost guaranteed to have a crappy day after doing that to yourself, thus putting a damper on your 4th of July festivities.

But would it be fun to watch? In a "I can't believe they're doing this to themselves" kind of way, it'd defintiely be entertaining. After all, that's how shows like "Jackass" and "Viva La Bam" found a following.

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