I love spectating an IRONMAN just as much as I love doing them. Everyone knows your best chance to see your friends who are racing is on the run course, so you should come prepared if you want to drink while they all suffer.
Yes, I realize I posted two months ago about my excessive drinking and triathlon, but it doesn’t mean other people can’t consume alcohol and spectate a race in a more responsible way than I did. That being said…
My first thing to pack for the day is a cheap case of beer. At 2018 IRONMAN Chattanooga I packed a 30-pack of Miller Lite. It was great. We were out on the run course for six hours and I drank all 30 beers (this is a sign you have a problem, I guess 10 or less over six hours would be more socially acceptable?).
It’s a hot day even when not running the race so I enjoyed the cold beer, even if it was like horse piss in a can. Oh yeah, make sure you bring cans. You can stomp on them to crush them. I throw the crushed cans into a grocery bag and find a recycling can at the end (or bring them home for my recycling). You also don’t want to risk dropping a bottle and breaking glass on the course, that’s a no no.
In the United States there are no IRONMANs in cities with open container laws (only in Savannah and New Orleans), so to lower the risk of getting an open container citation it is wise to bring some solo cups. That fine will run you between $100-$150 depending on your municipality.
Next, bring some kind of chips or snacks to munch on. It’ll also help soak up a little bit of the alcohol. It’s been three years so I don’t remember what I brought for that race, it could have been pretzels?
If you’re going to camp out on the run course and drink beer you need to find a place nearby where you can pee. It’s poor race etiquette to use the port-a-potties on the race course—those aren’t for you. Starbucks or Dunkin’ will work fine, you can use the app to find them. Gas stations are not always open to the public. The worst case scenario you can find a secluded spot off the course (like behind a brick fence *cough cough*).
Last, if you’re going to drink be sure you bring someone to drive. A DUI will cost you about $10,000 after it’s all said and done. Think of all the races you could do with 10 grand…shit think about the bike you could have bought! And trust me, those fuckers follow you around and come up at the worst times (I got mine 14 years ago in college and I can’t tell you how many times it came up at job interviews, it’s pretty fucking humiliating to have to explain).