Chris Myland lopped 44secs off his personal best to sensationally win last night’s New Zealand Beer Mile championships in Tauranga, becoming the oldest winner of the prestigious event in the process.
Aided by a withering final transition and eschewing the popular VB in favour of Fosters, the 46-year-old dethroned four-time winner Craig Kirkwood in an eagerly-awaited seventh running of the championship.
Kirkwood only had himself to blame for failing to defend his crown – Myland is part of the Craig Kirkwood Coaching stable, although the jubilant winner pointed out that only covered athletic pursuits.
“Luckily Craig isn’t my drinking coach, which is why I was able to beat him,” Myland told Dscribe Media, flexing his Duffman suit and interspersing his victory speech with Duffman’s motto “oh yeah!”. “I didn’t really target a time, I just wanted to beat Craig. I said to him last year ‘I’m going to have you next year’ and he went ‘yeah, yeah’ so I’m delighted. Oh yeah!”
Myland’s time was an impressive 6mins 48secs, good enough for fifth on the all-time New Zealand rankings list (source – www.beermile.com/records/ref_nz) and easily overhauling his debut time of 7.32 from last year.
Kirkwood finished in 6:57 – his third-fastest time ever – while Kyle Macdonald grabbed another podium finish with a 7:43.
Owen Miller completed his required four beers/four laps ahead of Macdonald but, in a true act of sportsmanship, completed a self-imposed penalty lap for failing to hold down the contents of his can, eventually finishing sixth.
The quickest lap was a sizzling 65sec effort from Ben Ruthe, who again showed terrible form on the side of the track but redeemed himself on it.
The championship was boosted by a late flurry of entries, all courtesy of Smith’s Sports Shoes, where Bruce and Alison Trebilco scrambled to close their Tauranga store in time and get their elite contenders onto the start line. Their ranks included the only female Beer Milers of the evening, Erica and Charlotte, although their times weren’t immediately available when this edition went to press.
Bruce Trebilco, battling a serious ACL problem in his knee, completely lived up to his company motto “Go hard out!” in an engaging performance.
For official images of the 2014 NZ Beer Mile championship, see Dscribe Media’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1mDkEl2