There’s nothing better than a stupid idea with impressive execution. And that’s exactly what Newcastle local Lachlan Earnshaw, his Sydney-based brother and their friends did back in January when they ran a beer marathon – 10 drinks at 10 pubs over 42 kilometres, running the whole way. The video chronicling their journey – from an optimistic start to a desperate finish, hitting up some classic Sydney watering holes along the way – is well worth a watch. Broadsheet spoke to Earnshaw about how the run unfolded.

Who came up with the idea for this?

My brother, Elliott, and I had the idea about a year or so ago. There’s this thing called the beer mile, which is quite popular and involves drinking one beer every 400 metres for a mile, so you end up drinking four beers. And Elliott and I like to do fun fitness challenges, so we did the beer mile on Christmas Eve and thought the next step from there would be to try to do a beer marathon – 10 beers every four kilometres. And we did that on the 13th of January.

Who did you do it with?

My brother and a bunch of his friends: Will, Wilf, Oscar and Campbell.

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How did you plan it? Did you come up with the pubs or the route first?

To be completely honest, it was totally random. We had a vague idea of some of the areas we wanted to go – we wanted to cross the bridge at one point, and go to Newtown, too – but other than that we just ran for four kilometres in any direction, stopped at the first pub that looked enticing, had a drink and then got on with it.

What was the response like when you would run into a pub?

A lot of people would ask why we were in running attire. And because it was a hot and humid night, we would run into the pub fully drenched in sweat. It was quite a sight. A lot of people were interested and confused; all of the bartenders were quite perplexed as to what we were doing, especially when they saw the speed with which we were drinking our beers and moving on immediately.

How long did you stay at each pub?

I would say we averaged between five and 10 minutes at each venue. We didn’t totally skull the beers, but we weren’t trying to waste too much time in there either – because we found that the longer we sat down and waited to drink the drinks, the more our legs began to seize and freeze up, and then it was harder to get going again. We didn’t want to get too comfortable.

Why did you have drinks other than beer at some pubs?

When we were at Opera Bar waiting for everyone, we had the idea that, instead of having a beer at every station, we’d create a spinning wheel that we’d spin at every pub with a list of different drinks – things like an ale, a lager, a Guinness, a vodka mixer, a rum and coke, house reds and whites, a Long Island Iced Tea and an Espresso Martini. So what we ended up drinking was totally random. One option was the bartender’s choice, which we were delivered at one of the pubs. That was quite an interesting one.

Did the drinks help your running performance at all? Like the carbs in the beers?

Look, in terms of energy, it was definitely better than doing a marathon with just water, but I wouldn’t call the beers performance enhancing.

Did you feel drunk at any stage? Or did you metabolise things too quickly?

There was a very brief period where we felt the drunk elation you get on a night out, so I would say on the first half of the run it was excitement, and then the alcohol also made things feel a little more ecstatic and a little more euphoric – until we did the tequila shots. It started raining, and our pace slowed down, and then it really quickly escalated into that part of the night where you feel like the night’s gone on for quite a long time and you’re ready to go home. But, unfortunately, at that stage we still had to run another 21 kilometres.

What was the grimmest stretch of the whole run?

Probably just after it rained. We stopped in a pub, The Carrington, but that was the stage where I think our energy was at the absolute lowest and we were very tired, and we were at that level of drunk where you’re just exhausted. We were soaking wet, we were absolutely toast.

How many bathroom breaks did you take during the marathon?

Ten official bathroom breaks, and maybe 10 unofficial bathroom breaks, if you know what I mean.

Do you have any tips for anyone looking to try their own beer marathon?

Prepare for it to be very fun and very tough. And do it with friends. If you do it alone, you’re just a very fit alcoholic.