Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Ramblings: How Can I Succeed at Chunder Running

For the inaugural "Ask Ramblings" Beer Running question, we start with this one posted anonymously:

"I would like to know how one succeeds at the disciplines of running AND beer drinking at the same time. Way back when, in college, we used to have this contest called "The Chunder Run," which combined beer chugging with running all-out. Even after becoming the event's race director, which I thought would give me an unfair advantage, I came in second at the race and never won it. Oh wait, the second time I lost, it was... to you!

Please help me, as being first runner-up at the Chunder Run for two years in a row has been the thorn in my side for 20 years...."

Dear "Anonymous":
I would first like to categorically deny ever participating in an event held at the conclusion of the Washington University - St. Louis cross-country season called simply "The Chunder Run" consisting of a five mile race where a cans of the cheapest beer we could find was consumed at the beginning and after each mile and the resulting projectile vomiting was said to be impressive. 

Now if I were ever to participate in such an event, I would approach it like any other race.  First,  figure out a good target pace based on current training level, then start out at that target pace for the first third of the race, push the pace slightly in the middle third if the pace seems manageable, and then fight like hell for the final third. 

As for training for this race, it's important to keep periodically challenging yourself and varying your training to develop the mental toughness to roll with whatever the race throws at you, be it hills, uneven terrain, weather, or really bad beer beer surging up your esophagus. 

As for dealing with being runner up for two years in a row, I'm afraid I cannot help you with that, but can recommend a good therapist.
I also refuse to confirm that the "anonymous" poster of this question is Brian Kim of Tempe, AZ who was a teammate of mine on the Washington University cross country team back in the day.

Got a beer running question?  Submit it to Ramblings of a Beer runner via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or a comment to this post and if I use your question, your reward will be an Ortholite Shoe Insole, my brilliant response, and potential world wide humiliation on the Internet.


  1. Derrick,

    I just stumbled across this randomly which made my night. I'm a current WashU runner, and while I am a good runner and an above average drinker, I finished last in chunder. Sadly, your advice comes too late as chunder died this year- banned by the coaching staff.


  2. Mike,

    Great to hear from you. It's sad to see a tradition like the Chunder Run die. While it's fun to brag and relive those moments, I also understand that today we are a more enlightened about binge drinking back than in the 80's, and I can't really fault the coaching staff for banning it, since I would do the same if I were in their position.

    I wish you and your teammates all the best. I still wish I had some more eligibility and suit up with you guys.