Ready, Set, Chug: Hong Kong to host 1,600m ‘beer race’, where contestants drink, run, and repeat

Photo: Hong Kong Beer Run via Facebook
Photo: Hong Kong Beer Run via Facebook

This autumn, Hong Kong will play host to the “world’s biggest beer run“, which despite what the title suggests, isn’t just a really ambitious trip to the grocery store. The event, which will take place at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on November 4, is in fact a series of 1,600-meter races where runners are given a can of beer every 400 meters.

(Prevention is better than cure even when it comes to beer guts, we suppose).

If you think that jogging with alcoholic froth bubbling in your throat sounds like a perfect recipe for chunder, you’re not alone. The event has drawn criticism from Hong Kong doctors from the Department of Health and Medical Association, who say organizers RunOurCity are exposing the expected 3,000-5,000 participants to health and safety risks like dehydration and physical accidents.

The Department of Health defines “binge drinking” as the consumption of more than 60 grams of pure alcohol (or five cans of beer) within one hour. The department (hilariously, but accurately) warned that binge drinking could lead to alcoholism, injury, violence, traffic accidents, and unsafe sex.

Andes Leung, chief executive of RunOurCity, expressed his surprise at the backlash, and said his company had held beer runs before in Hong Kong without issue. The organizer said the point of the event was to “promote street running” and use the alcoholic beverages to “create a happy atmosphere”. Leung told RTHK that the race wasn’t meant to be “competitive” and it wouldn’t be “mandatory” for runners to drink.

Considering that participants in the individual races will have to pay HKD348 and relay teams are required to shell out a combined HKD1,200, we reckon most runners will try to get their money’s worth.

The races will take place during an eight-hour “Beer x Run” event, where other beer-themed activities such as beer yoga (not sure how that works) and unspecified “beer games” (i.e. the frat boy Olympics) will be held.

For more information about Beer x Run, check out the event’s Facebook page.

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