Chug eight ounces of eggnog. Run 400 meters. Chug another eight ounces. Run another 400 meters. Repeat until you have consumed 32 ounces of eggnog and run one mile. Then — and this part is completely optional — throw up said eggnog.
The South Eugene Eggnog Mile, put on by the students of the cross country team ever since 2004, has remained one of South’s long-standing traditions. Not only is it a time to prove your stamina and athletic ability, it is also a time to demonstrate the strength of your stomach. A more high school appropriate version of the Beer Mile, the Eggnog Mile has remained a seasonal favorite, despite its nauseating consequences.
“I think the eggnog mile is a fun event not only for the cross country team, but also a great way to include the South community in one of our traditions,” senior and team captain Victoria Boechler said.
Adding to this, senior Spencer Tsai said, “I really think the eggnog mile is a good race for everyone to compete and have fun at the same time. It’s also really fun to watch so many community members attend.”
Eggnog, as we all know, is comprised of milk, raw eggs, sugar, and spices, a heavy combination. However, there are certain tips for persevering through all 1600 meters.
“I think the best strategy is to drink the eggnog quickly so you can’t taste it, and then just run each lap fast,” Boechler said.
Tsai took a similar approach, saying, “I’d just go for it no matter how fast or slow you think you are because when it comes down to it, it’s guts that take the title.”
Another piece of advice many people had was to just throw up at the end of the race as your stomach will feel much better after that.
You do not even have to like eggnog to participate in the Eggnog Mile. When asked if he liked eggnog, Tsai said, “No. I hate eggnog.”
For those of you who are lactose intolerant, do not worry about missing out on the life-altering experience that is the Eggnog Mile. You can purchase lactose-free eggnog at any local store, and volunteers will pour it into eight ounce doses for you.
Even though the Eggnog Mile is put on by the cross country team, many of the distance runners choose not to participate until their senior year.
“I haven’t run it in previous years because it doesn’t really sound like a particularly pleasant experience. To me, it’s something we should all do once before graduation for the novelty of it as it’s such a cool event,” senior Amber Kampen said.
As Tsai and Boechler noted earlier, the Eggnog Mile is open to all community members and South students as long as you pay a very small fee to cover the cost of the eggnog. Notable community members who have participated in the tradition include Andrew Wheating, a University of Oregon graduate and an accomplished local runner for Nike who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
The 2015 winners of the Eggnog mile were Michael Martin on the men’s side and Annie Coloma on the women’s side. Martin now runs for Lane Community College and Coloma for Arizona State University.
If you are interested in participating in this year’s Eggnog Mile, which will take place on Dec. 16, please contact cross country captains Vince Hyunh-Watkins, Nick Moll, Victoria Boechler, or Grace Youngblood. For my fellow seniors, it is an excellent way to drown out the stress from college applications. We hope to see you there!