happiest mile

With 2022 in the rearview mirror, it’s a delight to reflect back over running accomplishments and favorite events, but it also made us wonder: Is there one mile that stands out over the course of your running career? A best-of-all-time mile that shines brighter than the others? We asked some of our BAMRbassadors to tell us about their happiest mile, and today we share Audra’s story. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your running history. I’m Audra Jolliffe and I live in central Florida and have two college-aged boys, 22 and 20 years old.

My running history is sporadic. I ran my first 5K and then ran track in high school (I wanted a varsity letter). In college I only ran when I was late to class. It wasn’t until my boys started school that I found a local running group and Another Mother Runner and consistently started to run.

Since those early days, I have run many 5K races, 25+ half-marathons, 5 marathons (my goal was to do 5 before age 50), a 50K, and a 50-mile race. Through the heart rate programs, I found myself getting stronger and faster!

Was it easy to narrow down your happiest mile or was it hard to choose? This is an easy answer! It was the silliest race that I have ever run and I haven’t done anything like it since.

All right, let’s get to the good stuff. What was your happiest mile? My happiest mile was a beer mile hosted by my run club. Was it certified? No. Was it fun? Yes. I dressed up in a beer costume with my hair in braids as a St. Pauli Girl. The outfit was a hit! 

happiest mile

Audra in her St. Pauli Girl costume, embracing the moment and trying to keep every sip from coming back up.

To do a beer mile, you must chug a beer then run a lap as fast as you can (it’s a race, after all!!) and repeat for a total of 4 beers and 4 laps. The key was to not “toss your cookies” or you run an extra lap! 

My group was the last group to run so I got some advice on the best tactics. To help with all the drinking of the beer, we pretended we were at a club and danced and drank. Pro tip: After drinking each beer, start to run slow and then START BURPING. So that is what I did. 

I had signed up and recruited a best running friend to be my designated driver (mandatory for this race). She had a blast volunteering, watching, and then sharing those stories with me over dinner and on our drive home.

That is how I ran my slowest mile ever, my fastest drunk mile ever, and overall, my happiest mile!

What advice do you have for other mother runners based on your experience? Most miles aren’t that crazy, are they? If you attempt a beer mile, choose a bland beer. Stay hydrated, dance a little, take it slow, know your limits, don’t compare your time with others, and if you need to – start burping! Also, what happens on the run stays on the run.

I like to enjoy ALL the things on a run: flowers, deer, a train passing, lights on houses, front porches, etc. Every run can be fun with the right mindset.

Have you ever attempted a beer mile?
Tell us about it in the comments below.

Looking for more fun in 2023? Join us for Many Happy Miles!