It’s a Sunday morning and the alarm goes off at 5.20am – absolute craziness is what most people would say, and they’d be right. However Sunday 20th May 2012 was the third Sunday in May which means only 1 thing – the running of the annual SMH Sydney Half Marathon (all you beer lovers knew that already of course). This year it turned 21. Happy 21st!
You’re probably wondering why, on a beer blog there is talk of early Sunday mornings and half marathons. Let me enlighten you – this correspondent has taken part in this annual event since 2004 (I think, or maybe it was 2005). It’s the annual body cleansing period in which beer is not entered into the system for a period of time (again…..crazy talk on a beer blog I hear you scream). But before you click to another website, there is beer involved – an absolute cracking one at that!
The day prior to the run, I needed to ensure I had an adequate supply of the amber liquid as a reward for the hard slog of training in the weeks prior. The Beer Cartel in Sydney is a craft beer lover‘s heaven. The boys there help me in my quest to find a rewarding and untried drop after crossing the finish line. I was so entrenched in the beer purchasing process that I almost tried a free sample on offer – luckily I remembered that I had 21.1km to run first!
The great thing about the Sydney half marathon is that the course is within the city, which means the runners get to see some spectacular Sydney icons just as the sun is coming up and are free of the usual masses of people, cars and noise.
The most entertaining part of the run is through Pyrmont – all the runners are given a massive cheer and round of applause at 7am from the patrons of the Casino night clubs who have just finished their “night” out and are heading home.
The vast diversity of running styles, running outfits and people is a real opener. There’s always a guy who runs 21.1km with a heap of coins and keys in his pocket – I see this every year and still wonder – why?!? It must be bloody annoying.
This correspondent finished the run in a respectful time of 1 hour 47 minutes.
Enough about running already!
After almost 2 weeks without a beer, it was time to get stuck in. Of the recommendations from the lads at the Beer Cartel, the first bottle I opened was a Yeastie Boys Digital IPA. You guessed it – Yeastie Boys is a NZ crafter brewer. The Digital IPA is a limited release Indian Pale Ale.
If you’re after a subtle taste of malts and hops, stay away from this little puppy! Wow! This drop is extreme. As it rightly says on the bottle its “an aggressive wee beast”. Every single swig was an explosion of top quality malts and hops in my mouth, and it lasted forever. The beauty of this beer is that this explosion did not disappear as the end of the bottle approached – it was evident right down to the last drop. A highly recommended beer that this correspondent will be purchasing again and again – however, it is a limited release so I’m not sure if that’s going to be possible.