Bend loves beer. Bend also loves the outdoors. Adding the two together is a sum greater than its parts.
A simple, community-building, beer-drinking, fitness-oriented event, Hash Runs have been picking up momentum for years. A pack of runners follow clues/directions left on the ground, usually in flour. Runners follow the markings, often misleading, and drink beers at designated spots along the way. Sound disorganized? Welcome to hash runs! Want to get involved? Check out the Bend Hash House Harriers' Facebook page (facebook.com/bend.harriers). The group's last event earlier this month was a doozy.
Forget the 800, the beer mile is the world's most grueling track event. The format is simple: start by drinking a beer and repeat each quarter lap until a mile is completed (four laps). No puking, no running and drinking, no sissy low-alcohol beers (must be at least 12 ounces and 5 percent alcohol by volume). An Australian holds the world record (an unbelievable 5:04.9), but Oregon Olympian Nick Symmonds holds the American record after recording a 5:19 just weeks after competing in the London Olympics. Locally, professional triathlete Matt Lieto wears the Central Oregon crown, having clocked a blazing 5:48 this past fall. See beermile.com for more information and official rules.
Not interested in combining your suds with aerobic activity? Get into cornhole. Curling of the beer Olympics, cornhorn is a backyard game with an awkward name (also referred to as, "that bean-bag toss game"). It too is a simple pastime and can easily be completed with a beer in hand. Participants toss a beanbag onto a small wooden platform that contains a softball-sized hole. A good toss will land on the board and near the hole; a great toss will pass through the hole and score points. Play to an agreed upon score, and repeat. Talk trash. Drink more beer. GoodLife Brewing's grassy biergarten is home to Bend's best cornhole proving ground. See playcornhole.org for specific rules and regulations.
This game is for the less competitive, but no less fun. Needed materials are few: canned beers and a bb gun. With a group of buddies, set up full beer cans at a reasonable distance, state a buddy's name, and shoot. If a can is hit, the buddy who was called out must race to the spraying can and shotgun the injured beer from the hole created by the bb. Recommended as an outdoor game.