The Ice Cream Mile

June 20, 2012

Today was the annual Ice Cream Mile at Pinckney High School, an event Coach Tom Carney has been running (ha!) for years to kick off the summer season. It's an all ages event, although the crowd is definitely skewed to the younger end of the age range, due to their superior ability to eat junk and run and not puke. Much.

So, here's the deal. Run a mile, eat a pint of ice cream. You can eat the ice cream before you run; you can stop and eat ice cream during the run; you can eat the ice cream at the end of the run. No running with spoons though! Time is total time - run time and ice cream consumption time.

Puking does disqualify you, however.

No high-tech chip-timing here, folks. One guy with a stop watch and one with a tablet and a pen (an upgrade from the usual flap from a cardboard box). You report in once you have finished your pint. If you think it's all fun, and not too competitive, you would be wrong. And there are serious strategies to consider!

Haagen-Daz? Too much fat, doesn't soften up quickly. Chunky Monkey or Rocky Road? Gotta waste time chewing. Metal spoons give you a definite edge. Ice creams should be positioned with lids off, spoons in. The most popular consumption strategy is after the run, although this seems to be hotly debated every year, along with the competitive benefits of plain vanilla vs. other flavors.

The high school guys actually ran a warm-up, and some of them wore  track spikes. The coveted Ice Cream Mile Spoon Plaque - old metal spoons Gorilla-glued to scrap wood - is a serious business.

This is clearly not the time for your best ice cream eating manners. And at 95 degrees today, it was impossible to avoid being a sticky, sweaty mess at the end. The winner? John Niska, age 16, who clocked in at 6 minutes flat with his mile and his pint of Haagen-Daz Strawberry. Yeah, Haagen-Daz. Rules are meant to be broken, baby.

I was one of the crazy old farts who ran this today. I think there were, like, three of us over the age of forty. If you've been following my Triathlon Chronicles , you can probably guess that I thought this was a great ice cream eating opportunity ruined by running. Plus, I am not a hot weather person - once it hits 90, I'm wilting no matter what I am doing. Despite my poor attitude, I ran a 16:06 Ice Cream Mile (chocolate). Son #2 (chocolate chip cookie dough) timed the running portion of my mile at about 12 minutes - SLOW, and I mean 5-year-olds were whizzing by as only small children full of fat and sugar can do - and my ice cream eating skills were even more pathetic at 4 minutes. But I wasn't last! And I didn't revisit my ice cream!