Controversy erupted in a dramatic eighth running of the New Zealand Beer Mile championships in Tauranga tonight, with Craig Kirkwood claiming an historic fifth title.
Kirkwood’s title was sealed in a brilliant final transition on the four-beer/four-lap classic, overtaking defending champion Chris “Man of Steel” Myland and powering his magnificent crocheted running shorts home to a time of 6mins 45.4secs.
Video replays, however, suggested Kirkwood may not have downed his final beer completely, with liquid appearing to spill down his face after placing his empty vessel on his head.
“That’s bollocks,” Kirkwood assured the huge crowd watching the spectacle, as well as a television audience thought to be in the billions. “I’ve actually got a rare condition called FDS – Foaming Dandruff Syndrome – which only appears in times of extreme stress or excitement. Unfortunately, I caught a glimpse of someone dressed as Superwoman heading down the straight, which triggered a double-dose.”
Myland, in magnificent shape for someone nearing 50, clocked exactly the same time as he did in winning last year when he finished in 6:48.8, with Kyle Macdonald smoking his previous best time by 29secs to finish third.
Macdonald broke into the top-ten of the New Zealand all-time list with his 6:50.8 time, while Myland slides into eighth and Kirkwood sixth, though he also holds the third-fastest and seventh-fastest times (source – http://www.beermile.com/records/ref_nz).
The Beer Mile proved almost anticlimactic, meanwhile, after the inaugural running of the Lindauer Ladies Lap earlier on the sun-drenched afternoon.
The 18-strong field added a massive dose of class to proceedings although it wasn’t without controversy, with reports of shoulder-charging and hurtful language during a tension-charged start.
“Bitches better not get in my face,” one of the Lindauer lovelies muttered, amid a sea of sequins, tutus and ball gowns.
In the end, Cass Green stormed home with a withering 1:53.7, 9secs in front of Denys Taylor, with Melanie Vandepool another 12secs back. Shari Ball won the masters (over 21) division from Lynette “Going Going” Gong, although a photo finish was needed to separate them.
Costume of the day went to the sartorially splendid Andy Dixon, elegantly decked out in some of his fairway favourites, complete with golf bag and trundler.
For official images of the 2015 New Zealand Beer Mile championships, visit http://on.fb.me/1Kc2yUg
NZ Beer Mile:
Craig Kirkwood (Crochet Man) 6:45.4 1, Chris Myland (Superman) 6:48.8 2, Kyle Macdonald (Afro Man) 6:50.8 3, Geoff Emsley (Hulk) 7:49.8 4, Owen Miller (Hippy) 8:36.9 5, Sam Stacey (Batman) 8:41.9 6, Grant Taylor (UK) 8:44.2 7, Pete Edmondson (Ghost Buster) 9:08.0 8, Cole Burmester (80’s Bather) 9:16.0 9, Nick Lawson (Turtle) 9:35.4 10, Cam Paton (Chef) 9:49.9 11, Iain Macdonald (Super woman) 9:52.9 12, Jonathan Turner (Flannel Boy) 10:07.4 13, Andy Dixon (Golfer) 10:47.2 14, Lindsay Girven (Man) 11:14.6 15, Dennis De Monchy (Sushi) 11:36.0 16, Greg Hughes (Sunny) 11:47.8 17, Ben Bennett (Sheriff) 13:35.0 18, Denys Taylor (Black Dress) 15:13.1 19, Chris Morrissey (Green Screen) 15:39.1 20, Andy Chappell DNF.
Lindauer Ladies Race:
Cass Green 1:53.7 1, Denys Taylor 2:02.9 2, Melanie Vandepool 2:14.7 3, Shari Ball 2:34.2 4, Lynette Gong 2:34.8 5, Morgan Ball 2:44.0 6, Nicola Hingston 2:44.3 7, Robyn Crouth 3:09.8 8, Kylie Kirkwood 3:15.8 9, Aleta Newton 3:18.4 10, Lisa Myland 3:22.2 11, Miranda Clark 4:07.9 12, Sarah Olsen 4:09.0 13, Emma Bennett 4:17.6 14, Laurise Taylor 4:18.7 15, Emma Chloe 4:38.5 16, Jen Eldring 4:39.6 17, Hazel Jamieson 4:40.0 18.