I was super disappointed to miss the first Mug Run since I was living in the lap of luxury in Brazil courtesy of Peet’s (cue the world’s tiniest violins) but I perked up when I learned that Beth wanted to organize another one before she headed home to Florida. We set the date for 26 July, spread the word through Stalkbook and soon found ourselves on a sultry July evening, ready to take the Cape by storm.
We met at the Ugly Mug, where we reviewed the race plan, which focused heavily on the critical parts of the run – the beer orders. Leanne had 5 pieces of paper in a folder and on each paper was the name of one bar, with all their beers listed (I know, smart, right? These ladies had it down!). We checked off which beers we wanted at each stop, gave Leann $5 for each (she knew that all the beers ranged btw $4-$6 so figured if we all gave $5, it would work out in the end and it did! Yahoo, math!). She also collected $2 from each person or team to go towards their poker hand (a poker card would be distributed at each bar so that by the end, you would have a full hand to bet with). She then hopped on her bike, with her trusty sidekick Scuba (Beth’s son) at her side and rode off to the first bar to place the order, ensuring frosty brews awaited us when we arrived. This was our pattern throughout the night, and it worked extremely well. It meant that none of the runners had to fuss with money and there was no time lost waiting to get the bartender’s attention. It was excellent motivation to keep going since you knew there was instant beer gratification waiting for you at the end of every leg!
With our homemade shirts (thanks Lil Sis!!) and one last group shot, we were off!
After a sweaty mile, along which we serenaded Scott out of his house with the always popular chant “Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott” (lyrics courtesy of Meg) we found ourselves at the C-View Inn.
This is where the game really began. As is the case in all race plans, different runners employed different strategies. Instead of traditional questions such as “should I even pace this thing, or go for a negative split?” or “when should I have a GU?”, we concerned ourselves with Mug Run specific ones like “Do I want the glory that goes with downing a beer at each bar or should I postpone drinking til the end?”. If you had any hopes of completing a 5-beer challenge, you had to start here, and many Muggers did. It was a tough call and to have to make it in the heat of battle just reminds us all that having a race plan before you set out is really key to running success!
With bellies full of beers and the temperatures still kissing the upper 80s, getting cracking on the next leg was a mental challenge for the Muggers – but isn’t running 90% mental anyway? So we steeled ourselves and off we went for the next leg, the longest of the night. It was hot and sticky but as we made the turn onto Beach Ave we finally felt a summer breeze, delighting us with its presence. Post-race, most Muggers reported that this stretch was the hardest – they had not yet gotten their beer legs, and felt kinda queasy at times. Apparently, though, the mind of a Mugger is a formidable thing, and as we traveled on, their stomachs settled (minus GD whose belly rebelled the whole time – his solution was to rebel right back, continuing to drink a beer at each stop and was fine by the end!). Scott and Carrie pondered making drinking an actual race day strategy. Shots before the gun goes off remains an untested race plan, but I believe we will have some data in the near future, thanks to these two pioneers.
Our next stop was the bar at the Ocean Club Hotel, a gorgeous bar whose seating is around a pool with views that look out over the ocean. This is probably also a good time to key you in on someone you may be wondering about, which is the man on a stick (or perhaps you weren’t wondering at all because men’s heads on sticks is part of your average day. Kudos to you for living such an open-minded life). The man is Chris, and he is Leanne’s husband. When they learned the real Chris could not make it, Leanne and Beth said to themselves, “no matter, we will simply put a picture of his head on a stick and it will practically be the same thing.” I have never had the pleasure of meeting the real Chris, who by all accounts is a great guy, but I will tell you that head on a stick Chris was hilarious! Man, can that guy drink! He handled the beer better than the rest of us and you just could not wipe the smile from his face. So happy he joined us!
We moved on to our next bar, The Inn of Cape May where our raucous laughing may not have been the most welcome addition to the Victorian atmosphere, but we enjoyed it! Hey, Victorians probably had some fun, right? This was practically a reenactment of a typical night in the early days of Cape May. Everyone knows how wild they were – I mean, they must have been – who could handle all those rules without getting a lil antsy? This is also where we met the photographer from Exit Zero, so keep a lookout for us in a future issue!
As evening fell, we took off to our next stop, The Rusty Nail. This indoor/outdoor bar, with its live music and firepit, was my favorite of the bars we stopped at.
We were getting pretty hungry at this point, so we headed back to the Ugly Mug for some chow. The leg between the Nail and the Mug was fairly short, so many of us sprinted it, dodging in and out of confused onlookers on Washington Street. Lil Sis tried to educate them by yelling “Mug Run coming through, you should be running with us” but frankly I think her outreach efforts were in vain, as she mainly resemble a half-drunk crazy woman, lol.
Once inside the Mug, there was one last task to complete – poker! As you can see, GD and I had a can’t be beat hand! Well, if you imagine some of those cards to be totally different, it would have been unbeatable! Each person was given the opportunity to fold or bet and you can guess what we choose to do.
In the end, only Lisa and Beth decided not to fold. After a minute of anticipation…
Lisa’s hand was declared the winner! Congrats you two, try not to spend it all in one place!
After the excitement of the game, we settled our stomachs with some fried, greasy bar food.
We stayed at the bar until about 10:30 and then headed home, happy as bugs in a rug fresh from the Mug.
I hope that this recap gives you a sense of what Cape Island Runners is all about. Yes, training hard and racing hard are definitely going to be a part of it – but playing hard is just as important! Having nights that are all about getting to know each other and being silly is really one of the best things about being part of a running community, and I hope you will join us for the next one. We brainstormed all sorts of great CIR runs for the future, so keep coming back to the blog and look out for events that you can be a part of. In addition to regular group runs on Wed nights, our August social run is planned for the night of 8/31 – a full moon run! It will be a little different than a Mug Run, so stay tuned for details!
Thanks again so much to everyone who came out and made it a memorable night, especially this guy:
Run on, friends!