The annual Tom Waits Løpet Beer Marathon or Tom Waits Run is a special tradition that was created in 1999 as a cheerful response to the Grete Waitz women’s marathon (regular running). It has more to do with brown pubs and beer than Tom Waits, but the name creates an interesting atmosphere and draws a lot of unlikely people together to the 20 something bars or so every year. The picture on the right shows this year’s course, and you’re supposed to drink a pint in each of them. But really, there are no rules.
Somehow I’ve always missed it. There’s no official homepage or sponsor since it’s an "alcohol-induced event" in a country where you cannot officially promote alcohol without breaking the law. So when it has come up in the past I’ve always had other plans need doing. But last year I got my first run of the marathon when I reluctantly and quite accidentally followed Lady C and her sister Vixen to Little Kariachi, and we entered the Oslo equivalent of the Carneval in Rio.
I mean it quite seriously. Why this tradition hasn’t been on international TV is beyond me. It’s the only race in the world where there are no winners. We are all losers!
This year I was better prepared despite a slight fever and a cough. We had some beers the night before to get our livers workin’, and ate a good wholesome breakfast before bringing it on. And from the list of bars printed on this guy’s official t-shirt slash roadmap we only skipped: 05, 07, 17 and 19. Which means a total of some 16 beers! We teamed up with my brother Koew & his friends, as well as Kornelius and his GF and sister. Later in the evening there were also tasteful guest appearances by the mysterious mr. S and The Army Dude!
At Ivar’s Kro (bar #11) the Norwegian Tom Waits cover band Blow had a concert, after which reality started to tear up in the seams on my part. People were getting tired. At one later point that evening I remember Lady C putting me in a cab going home and me trying to get the same cab to drive me back right afterwards "’cause fuck if I was gonna go home when there was still FOUR MOARH BEES TO DRINK!" When Lady C was finished arguing with the completely clear and common sense I was making we headed back downtown to go the last few steps and tip over the thin, red finishing line.
Lady C has told me about the rest of it, because I don’t remember this shit at all. Apparently I was refused service at a couple of the last bars because I was too drunk to stay upright. And at the very end of the line at Fiasco Lady C got me sitting down and having brought me my last beer of the year I spilled all of it all over my pants. That’s when I agreed to let her take me home! Until next year… Cheers!