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Dead Guy Ale is Ultra Runner Fuel

Long-distance runner Camille Herron broke a World Record while chugging bottles of Dead Guy Ale.


By the time Camille Herron crossed the finish line at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile Trail Run last Saturday in Vienna, Illinois, she had chugged one and a half 12oz bottles of Dead Guy. And she’d defeated the Women’s 100 Mile World Record — by over an hour.

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You might ask: beer while racing? “We discovered it by accident,” Camille Herron’s husband and coach Conor Holt tells us. The ultra runner was in the lead (she led both the men and women at one point) in the Ultra Race of Champions, a 100K through Auburn, California on a very hot day in September 2016 when an overload on sugars and a bout of nausea started slowing her down.

Conor met her at the 51-mile aid station. “I tried everything to get her going; you name it — ice, coke, chips, fruit — I tried it. Camille was just lying there in the chair for about 15 to 20 minutes, out of it.”

Then Conor remembered he had a 6 pack of Dead Guy Ale in the car for after the race and offered her one of those. “She suddenly perked up and said, ‘yep!’” So he grabbed her a bottle, she drank it, half of another and got right back on the course. Before she was done that day, Camille had drunk another whole bottle and shaved 27 minutes off the women’s course record.

Since then, beer — particularly Dead Guy Ale — has become an essential part of the race gear. “I believe that it helped settle her stomach and was a good, refreshing way to get some good carbs in,” Conor explains. He thinks the hops and the flavor are a big part of it too. During most races, Camille meets Conor at an aid station late in the race and drinks beer for about 5 to 10 seconds then takes off.

Camille drinks down Dead Guy Ale at an aid station. Photo by Helen Martin.
Camille drinks down Dead Guy Ale at an aid station. Photo by Helen Martin.

So on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, when Camille was on the Tunnel Hill trail, it only made sense she start drinking beer at mile 83. She finished the race in 12 hours, 42 minutes and 39 seconds. Then she celebrated her win with another bottle of Dead Guy Ale the following day.

Camille and Conor have both been fans of Rogue since they lived in Corvallis, Ore. from 2005 to 2007. Camille was getting her Masters at Oregon State while Conor was coaching the cross country and track team. They even dropped by the brewery for a pint of Dead Guy Ale on their honeymoon. And we were happy to host them even more recently at Rogue Ales Issaquah Brewhouse where she met our brewer Kirsten Phillips. We’re looking forward to having them back again soon.