“Anyone can drink beer, but it takes a runner to enjoy beer.” I modified beer cicerone and author Stephen Beaumont’s quote to reflect my impression of the success of the second Beer Lovers’ Marathon in Liège, Belgium on June 4, 2017.
We participated in the premiere edition of the race last year. I don’t drink, but the race made such a good impression on me that we were back for more this year. I couldn’t wait to see what outrageous costumes runners will be wearing this time. Almost a thousand other runners did not disappoint and really got into the spirit of the theme. It seemed like beings from down below, up above, and everybody in between were represented!
Richard and I proceeded to Place Saint Lambert in Liège to pick up my race bib after attending a noon meeting in Maastricht, The Netherlands on Saturday, June 3rd.
The plaza outside the race tent had two markets in progress. We browsed through the products at the LiegItalia market first.
Richard could not resist taking a sample of the salami e cioccolato al Viagra.
We proceeded to the Summer Beer Lovers’ Festival across the street.
Our hotel for the weekend was just down the street, conveniently close to the start and finish line. Pentahotel Liège is an ultrahip hotel that did not have a conventional check-in counter. The bartender doubled up as the front desk officer. Hotel parking was available for a fee.
Place Saint Lambert is a shopping and restaurant district. We walked about some more before having a quick dinner at one of the restaurants.
Breakfast was the first order of the day the next morning before heading out to the start line.
The race also had breads at the 2K point for others who skipped breakfast.
While other races had entertainment spots along the race route, this race had the runners as the entertainment. People were just excited and ran in packs, stopping to socialize and have a drink (or two, or three) of the 16 different Belgian beers along the way.
Chips, sausages, and apples were available to go along with the beers.
The course was generally flat, except for the Montagne de Bueren, a 374-step staircase in the middle of the city. We climbed some more steps to get to the viewing deck on top of the mountain.
What is really funny is that even if they had lots of different beers already, these runners still ran faster than me! About a quarter of the runners ignored the 6 hours 30 minutes time limit and just enjoyed the beer and the race.
My finisher’s medal and beer glass were waiting for me at the finish line. I cleaned up at the hotel and we were on the way home soon after.