Photo Credit: Josiah MacKenzie

You need something cool to do Sunday March 20th? We found it.

Beer Mile races are all the rage right now. A bunch of large organizations are starting to promote them, but we suggest you look past the flash to San Diego’s original (we think) Charity Beer Mile hosted by Miranda Williamson at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills.

Link to Charity Beer Mile in San DiegoThe Beer Mile is a race where participants run 1 mile. Every quarter-mile they stop and drink a full can of beer. Four beers in one mile as fast as you can. This 2nd Annual Charity Beer Mile costs $15 to enter, and space is limited. 100% of the entry fee is being donated to the Emilio Nares Foundation. There is a post-party at Kilowatt Brewing also to benefit charity. So have fun, drink beer and do good.

We caught up with race founder Miranda to learn more.

Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness

Woman Drinking Beer during running race
pc: Deanna Young – image cropped

SoCal Sessions: This is your 2nd Beer Mile run for charity. What inspired the 1st one, and how did you get involved?

Miranda: I am an event planner by profession. I started planning non-violent activist events in Portland, Oregon. When I moved back to San Diego I needed a creative outlet for my mad event planning skills. Running a marathon was on my bucket list too, so I started by training for my first marathon with Team in Training, and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I love the idea of having two goals to work towards-a fundraising total and an endurance event. I met a great community of people while training and fundraising too. People who wanted to make a positive difference in the world, always striving to be better. I am getting to the point here…My run community and friends are all staunch supporters of my events, and it was over a couple of beers at Belching Beaver, probably after an excessively long run, that one of my friends suggested a beer mile!

Charity Beer Mile!

Now, I am the type of person that makes things happen. I turn a lot of talking into action. Thus, I selected a date, picked a worthy charity (there are many and I’d love to raise money for all of them but I had to choose), bribed a speaker to tell her story about the charity with a six-pack, began promoting at local run clubs, bribed a friend to design my artwork, and found a suitable location. That’s it. It was a vision I made come true. Grassroots style.

SoCal Sessions: The “Beer Mile” has exploded into public culture over the past year. What motivates someone to run a mile while attempting to drink 4 classy PBR’s along the way? 

Miranda: What motivates someone? Hmmm… A challenge! A good cause! Good company! And tons of fun! Participants can expect cramps, laughs, a slow mile, burping, maybe some puking. In all seriousness though, I have a professional race announcer who has worked with this cause for years, a local run shop is donating raffle prizes including shoes, a local artist is designing and hand carving the awards, and the after party hosted a Kilowatt will include the release of a new beer!

Woman Drinking Beer and Running
pc: Deanna Young

SoCal Sessions: What can participants expect? How is your race different from other organized beer miles? Any dangers involved with running and drinking?!

Miranda: Racer will have official race bibs. We’ll be running in waves of 10. It is in a park and not on a track. We will be running on a side-walk and then cutting through some grass. It is a low-budget grassroots event. We are in [the] community laughing and raising money for a good cause. However, I do have several VERY competitive athletes participating. It will make for a fun show. One guy has been training and claims he can complete the Beer Mile in 6:47!!! I cannot chug one beer and run a mile in that time! Shoot I can barely run a mile with no beer in that time.

As far as dangers go…. Haha! Um, I do not think there is any real danger. DO NOT drive afterwards. 4 beers in one mile will give you a quick buzz.

SoCal Sessions: Your run supports the Emilio Nares Foundation. Why choose them as the recipient of the Beer Mile Run?

Emilio Nares Foundation LogoMiranda: The Emilio Nares Foundation is a local charity that was founded by a family who lost their son to cancer. They saw the intense financial strain on families to get their children to their doctors appointments. When they started the charity it was focused on providing free transportation to get children with cancer to their medical appointments. I get to meet the children that benefit from the money I help raise. It is rewarding to see exactly where, who and how all the money I helped raise gets used.

SoCal Sessions: You’re donating not just all the $$$ raised but also your time and effort to put on this run. Why is giving back important to you? 

Miranda: Everyone has a different capacity for giving back. Some people have a lot of money but no time, some have a talent, or a product. I have my time and energy. I can not think of a better more rewarding way to spend my free time. I am not altruistic. I really enjoy bringing people together for a purpose, to make the world just a little better, to combine our energies for positive social change… It’s my jam.

SoCal Sessions: There is an after event party at Kilowatt Brewing where they are introducing a new beer and donating part of the proceeds to your cause. How did they get involved? Are you a craft beer lover, and if so, favorite local beer/brewery?

Kilowatt Brewing

Miranda: Kilowatt! They are awesome. I am friends with a group of triathletes called Peakfinders. They have connections with Kilowatt and are having a Peakfinders beer brewed. They approached me with the idea of combining the beer release with the Charity Beer Mile. It is a win for me. More $ for charity, some triathletes to compete with the runners and a great place for the afterparty.

I am a craft beer lover. Um, I went to grad school in Portland (land of breweries and botanical gardens). I love Tiger! Tiger! with their bike discount and good food, Manzanita and Thorn Street. My faves.

SoCal Sessions: SoCal Saturdays* are busy. Why should people come out to the Beer Mile?

Miranda: March 20 is a Sunday afternoon. Most athletes have long workouts on Saturday. Sunday afternoons are for laundry, groceries and preparing for the week. I am giving everyone an excellent reason to put all that stuff off and come play/compete/do an act of charity. This is a really fun way to give back to the community.
*(Editor’s note: My bad. All the days are blending together!)

SoCal Sessions:  Anything else you want to add?

Miranda: I talk a lot about athletes, but I do not want to scare away the non-runners. Last year the fastest runner ended up losing to a much faster chugger. You never know how you’ll do until you try.

Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness

Check out these links for more information on the event, Miranda’s fundraising efforts and the Beer Mile.

Charity Beer Mile Registration

Miranda’s Cancer Fundraising page

Charity Beer Mile Rules: (These are the rules that we follow. There are a few variations of this and bottles are now being used in some Beer Miles. We keep it old school.)

FaceBook Event