The Galway Bay Gallop

What do runners do on St. Patrick’s Day? We integrate beer into our running.

Maura (who is from Galway) designed a very fun and difficult race for the Rogue Runners called the Galway Bay Gallop. The race was an out and back, 4 miles total. The catch? At each turn around point you had to either take a shot of whiskey or chug a beer, 3 drinks in total. The prize purse was as follows: a bottle of Irish Whiskey, a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream, or a delightful package of Irish smoked salmon sponsored by Galway Bay Seafoods.

The next day was the NYC Half Marathon so a lot of our friends weren’t running in the Galway Bay Gallop. Also, since I was to be cheering all day during the Half I decided to get in my 18 Miler before the race. This was a poor decision.

Abbe and I showed up at the 102 Transverse to find a group of 15 people preparing!

In order to make Rogue Runner races fun, handicaps are put in place to equalize the playing field. Maura took everyone’s 4 mile race time and set up wave starts. I got to start last with a 14 minute deficit on the leaders. This is why maybe doing an 18 miler before hand was stupid. My poor legs did not feel like running at all.

At Maura’s command the first group, led my Tracy, started chugging their beers and were off. SIDENOTE: We were all really concerned with getting pinched by the cops. I later learned that it’s only a $25 ticket and not jail time. Game on.

I think there were 9 runners total. Matt6 and I were the last to go. As he set off chasing the pack I still had to wait a couple minutes to start, a difficult task considering Matt6 is no slow poke.

With 1 minute to start I prepared my Porkslap Ale. As Maura counted down to zero I attempted to chug my Ale. I’m not much of a ‘chugger’ really, never have been, so I just drank quickly. After my tasty beverage I set of with a running fury. I immediately felt like my chest was going to explode from all the carbonation! I was run-burping along the West Side Rollers, not really enjoying myself. It was quite painful in fact, not just the beer in ma belly, but trying to trick my trashed legs to run again. Clearly, my body was like “Hey Baker, we already ran today and were super excited when it was over. What’s the deal?”

As I was running I kept looking way ahead, wondering when I would see the first group on their return trip and the impossible task of trying to catch them.

It wasn’t long. Tracy appeared about 1.5 miles into my first leg of the race. She was cooking too. We laughed and high fived.

Soon after I saw a small group trailed by Matt6. Ironically, just as I was feeling good I was arriving at the second ‘Aid’ station to drink my next drink. Abbe, Claire and Erica were awaiting and cheering me on. They had a beer prepared, but in the interest of time I yelled to them that I would do a whiskey shot instead. Abbe prepared the concoction and I downed it, chasing after the group.

In case you have never run in Central Park, the West Side Rollers are no joke. Having to do them twice was brutal. Using my blurred eyesight I was constantly scanning runners ahead of me looking for my targets. Son enough I saw 2 of the gals from the original lead group. I passed them and shouted hello, continuing my search for the leaders.

By now the booze had numbed the pain in my legs enough so that I was actually trucking along at a decent pace. I rounded the bend into the transverse and saw the group chugging their final drinks! I had come in 7th Place. Tracy had held a great pace (she even had a 2 minute PR) and won the overall race!

After all the runners were in Maura had a fantastic awards ceremony. So many fun prizes! In the interest of St. Paddy’s Day we all went out for a couple more beers to celebrate. Thanks for organizing this one Maura, it was great!

Congrats to all my peeps who ran in the NYC Half Mary the following day! Especially to Abbe, who rocked a 30 minute PR!