Thursday 29 March 2018

Beer Mile Number One

Saturday last week saw the first edition of the Beer Mile in Vienna, organ-sized by Mr. Pink and Barefoot. I couldn't make it and would have loved to see it combined with a regular Hash run which didn't happen, although in retrospect it was good that the Beer Mile took place away from the Sunday run. Enough said, here come the Beer mile report by Mr. Pink as well as pics provided by Barefoot (rumor has it that Richard Morehaer Kopf, OVH, took some pics as well). Thanks to all of you.

Here we go:

Vienna's first Beer Mile…

For those unfamiliar with the Beer Mile, it is most famous for being Canada's most famous (only?) invention; part microcosm of the Hash staples of something resembling r*nning/walking/crawling and drinking, part spectacular sufferfest: drink one beer then r*n a quarter mile (400m), repeat four times – and r*n a fifth lap as a penalty if you at any stage before finishing vomit. Lance Armstrong tried it once, but he gave up after one beer/lap because it was too hard - I guess beer isn't his drug of choice. After years of proposals in Vindobona Circles, March 24, 2018, will now go down in history as the date that the first Beer Mile in Vienna, or indeed Ostrichland period, finally took place. (Well, technically it was the fourth, but as it was the first with more than three entrants, the first with more than two finishers, and the first with actual Ostriches taking part, it does enough to warrant that title.)

The Beer Mile, naturally, has history with the Hash. A total of 50 Hash kennels and well over 400 Hashers around the world have completed a qualifying official "Kingston Rules" Beer Mile – which means getting to the end, doing so drinking four beers of at least 355ml (though as we can only get 330mls in Europe, close enough) of – and, this is important – 5% abv. Which rules out a good 75% of every American attempt ever. For the stats fans, any of those in Vienna?, who have asked: the H3 average all-time is around 15:30, with the Harrierette average at just under 17:00 (with a record time of 9:11). The slowest H3 time (they still completed it!) is 58:18, which gives Tonto something to aim for in future, and Bratislava is, of course, the world's fastest Hash at 5:56. The Hash Record, which is held by the 69th quickest Hasher by personal best, is currently 9:51 by one Major Pecker (I hope one day it is one of the amazingly named "Deep Space 69," "Ich Liebe Dick," or "Brazilian Whacks Off". Or that the San Diego Hasher "Only Comes in a Kid's Meal," who we found researching this, completes one sometime soon. Power Kraut should be probably NEVER be made aware of this event.

Anyway, to bring this to Vienna and those VH3ers wishing to participate themselves, first, we had to solve a problem: Austrian Sports Unions are as likely to share their running tracks as Mind the Gap is to share his own Hash fries, perhaps with good sense when it comes to the Beer Mile: one Albanian by the Hash name of Major F*ck Up, recently in Bratislava vomited so much over our own facilities that we actually had to build an ark to be able to get to the vending machine to buy water to wash the flooded lanes clean. With this in mind, we were forced to find our own public venue. Luckily, the City of Vienna authorities were kind enough to mark an out-and-back course 200 metres in each direction, making a 400-metre loop, on the Prater Hauptallee which resembled more the original black laned Olympic Stadium in Athens*, kind of aptly for the Herculean task awaiting our entrants. (*More on them in a minute, but here a quick aside to praise Canadian Hash legend Little Big Man who actually defied security to do a Beer Mile on that very track last year – this is the H3 standard to which we should all aspire!)

So it was then, that a mix of Vindobona/Bratislava Hashers, a handful of Austrians half Barefoot's age, who we probably shouldn't enquire how he found, and one total random who – we have no idea how – found out about the event from LGB's posting on Facebook, descended upon the terminus of the #1 tram in Prater, just in time for XX to claim credit for the first genuinely nice day of spring. Said young Austrians had us waiting around for 15 minutes as our beers slowly warmed – the result of preparing for the event with a 4am tequila session for which they were duly and suitably cruelly penalized as their girlfriends beat them to the last 330ml size beers in the Tankstelle, meaning they were forced to drink 500mls instead.

With M.o.M., Nail Me, 3 Dicks at Once, and A.N.a.L. on the sidelines serving as timers, moral support and Schadenfreude administrators – and with XX offering (shivers as he types this) flashing services, the field of 12 received their final destructions from Barefoot, as Pink was unable to contribute due to having spent the entirety of his bus ride from Bratislava trying not to incur his own personal penalty lap: man flu is a killer, people. And then they were off, to the sight of a slightly bemused Mr. Pink as Token Canadian Joe sprinted past him (first time for everything, Vienna!) not 20 metres after the first beers had been downed, only to then lose the lead 300 metres later clutching his stomach and ruing that his tactic of going 100% from the gun "might not have been a good idea." Personally, if I were offering him Beer Mile advice, I'd have started with "don't drink wifebeater (Stella Artois)" but chivalry has no place in our ranks.

The Mile passed in a blur, more for some than for others (probably those on Ottakringer), and despite the attempts of the standard Prater fauna of people not looking where they are pointing the front wheels of their bikes, joggers in headphones moving in right angles as they watch YouTube videos, dogs on extendable leads to which the connection to their owners is notional at best, and more k*ds than an Amstetten basement straying across our track, collisions were somehow avoided and the finishing times read out, with various records falling. As, it should be mentioned, did all the young Austrians who took part in the event into one heap at the finish line, the assembled age of which was still junior to XX. Whereupon, much rejoicing was had and sins within the run discussed (stop me when this sounds familiar) and all retired to a nearby Biergarten to bask in the year's first warm sun while paying grotesquely-inflated prices for what passes as beer in the Austrian capital and enjoying the sight of at least one children's playground animal ride being stripped of its innocence by one of the barely legal-to-drink Austrians, as another philosophized on the passing-of-time with the sad lament that his "girlfriend turns 19 tomorrow." Meanwhile, a third member of the crew postured that XX was the Rick of Rick and Morty of our group, which, I think, is some sort of huge kudos down-with-the-kidz Down Down.

As for the times for anyone interested, Mr. Pink defended the Hash honour (such as it has any) to stroll in sick at 8:17, new boot Manuel (the Facebook find) set the Austrian Men's National Record with a time of 8:46 – for shame Hot Property! (10:25), who was also pipped for a podium place by Joe, who overcame his early overly ambitious start to finish third at 10:24. Barefoot (12:45), knocking back 6% root beer, somehow avoided a penalty lap and showed enough fortitude to then complete the "Nautical Beer Mile" which adds 265 yards and one "good swig o' rum" onto the end of the event, before Just Lisa claimed the new official Austrian Women's NR with 16:50. Over five minutes back at 22:05 came Robin, who although being the leader of the 500ml drinkers, only actually wins the MTG Trophy for being beaten by his girlfriend. After another 5 minutes of slapstick/physical comedy the four young Austrians rolled in at 27:50, 28:34, 29:12 and finally 30:30 – the final two taking great pride in their penalty laps earned by two spectacular displays of public hurling. So, if any Hasher wants to drink from the fountain of youth and beat a bunch of late teenagers/guys in their early 20s, the bar has been set!

We'll certainly be doing this again, possibly in May, and in the meantime hopefully the real result will be we've picked up a few new recruits for VH3! This was our biggest recruitment tool in Toronto and there is a lot of crossover, for anyone who sneers at it.
And never has MoM been more vocal in anything, EVER, than his firm NO objection to ever taking part in such an event (4x Coke or Chocolate Milk for the non-drinkers)!

On on!

Urban Gardening

Another tradtition at the World's Worst has become the Post Ski Week run at the Augarten, a park in Vindobona's third district. The park is located not too far from the city centre, a part of it houses the premises (and a performance theatre) for the Vienna Boys Choir (not to be mistaken for the Queer Boys Quoir which were once en vogue chez the Hash) and the two monstrous Flaktürme, relics from WW2.

An art in itself is to try to do some exercise on the smallest possible perimeter and that is what the two Hares The Blessed Saint Norman and Cardinal Munk, both OVH tried to achieve. "Running" at this chapter has become a bit unfashionable as out of a group of twenty a mere 4 or maybe 5 tried to pretend that they were running. But any chance to fight the later winter blues and set you greedy hands on a few cold beers is much welcomed.

It is hard to believe nowadays, but in the 18th and 19th century there were severe floodings inside the park which all occured before the Danube got regulated in the late 1800s. The last part of the run split into a walkers trail that led straight back to the cars and a runners part, well, I got lost on Gaußplatz, at least a few happy ones were able to follow what was intended by the Hares. The main feature during the circle was the appearence of a local law enforcement agent (at 3:30 p.m.!) as a local resident was strongly voicing his protest against our usual festitivies that were comparatively tame. The policeman came, saw, and left with a grin.


Sunday 18 March 2018

Back to the Beertap

Straight after Pi Day it was Schweizerhaus opening day, with the usual suspects Dodgy Condom, Cardinal Munk, OVH and yours truly started things at the adjacent Englische Reiter for a couple of warmup drinks. The doors of the Schweizerhaus opened punctually at 11 a.m. and as is always the case there, the place was full within an hour. People kept coming and going, I remember the regarded presence of St. Norman, OVH, Ice Queen, Slush Puppie, Root CAnal, JustIn Beaver and I am sure that I forgot a few.

The Modovidlo Band from Prague, regulars at openings and closings

Something beautiful

Cycle of life (and death) and annual events continues endlessly (if one believes in resurrection and Hash runs on the other side).  The Ski Week Solidarity Hash just saw its 18th edition, this time starting again from Karlsplatz and the aim was the celebrate World Pi Day in style. The great Stephen Hawking passed away on this day (RIP), it was Albert Einsteins birthday (and Mooseheads of course, look here for a more extensive list) and my Cohare the Cardinal brought along a piece of paper with the intented destructions leading through the nicer part of Viennas first district (which Slush Puppie wisely commented like "Thank God, otherwise we would have had to run across the Naschmarkt area again").

To put run events in a nutshell, I will gladly steal Lopsided Backside's comment about the run as following:

"Best run of the year (ALMOST.....just missed the schnapps round).  There was men's fun underwear, women's lingerie, flamingos, Santa Claus, a chicken, some virtual skiing and of course......Beer.  
But BUT! even more spectacular....there was pie and a Pi recital. "

Bear in mind that the Easter Markets in the center of town are open again, we passed by the one at Am Hof and there sure was a PI recital done by the Harald Juhnke Memorial Chicken in front of the PI Wall in the Karlsplatz underpass (of course without looking at the 478 numbers!). Run ended at Schwarzenbergplatz, where Slush Puppie, Beermeister of the Day, provided lovely Stiegl Beer for the circle. On After at Gasthaus Herlitschka. And Ski Week Solidarity Hash Virgin was Saint Norman, OVH.

Praise the Number of Pi! 


I was suspicious about last Sundays location as well as the weather forecast (mild early spring weather) that would make parking near and running within the Schönbrunn Schloßpark challenging. I was then surprised that I actually found a parking space a mere 200 metres away and even more flabbergasted that in the smallish parking lot arriving Hashers constantly seemed able to squeeze their mobiles in between the others, somehow. Hosts of the day were Virgin Hare Just Monika (Walkerstrail) and Hot Property (very experienced).

The Hares, accompanied by the Harald Juhnke Memorial Chicken

Run started into the spacious Schloßpark of Schönbrunn, taking in all the details and accompanied by lots and lots of Viennese who came to enjoy one of the first warm days of the year. (As I am writing this, we are back to snowfall and temperatures below zero degrees Celsius). Coming out of the Schloßpark at the back end of Schönbrunn Zoo, the runners trail continued to an area of posh buildings (mind you, Viennas 13th district is not a cheap place to live). OnOn to the Küniglberg and passing by the main buildings of the ORF coming back to the cars took another couple of running kilometres. Nice and short circle conducted by Cardinal Munk who is the reserve RA amongst other things. And the story continues... 
All pics of this trail can be viewed here.

Chicken trail

Get back to where you once belonged!

Ruki Werch! (means hands up in Russian)