When an ironman triathlon isn’t hard enough: the beer mile as a subworld ritual
Lamont, M & Fairley, S 2018, 'When an ironman triathlon isn’t hard enough: the beer mile as a subworld ritual', Sociology of Sport Journal, vol. 35, pp. 375-385.
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Rituals may organically manifest on the periphery of official sport event programs, yet scholars have primarily focused on understanding the meaning of and experiences of athletes participating in the focal event. This paper explores a subworld ritual that occurs the day after major triathlon events in Australia. Organized by members of a distinct subworld within the broader social world of triathletes, the Beer Mile is a quasi-devious ritual performed by this subworld to mark the completion of a period of regimentation. The ritual embraces fortitude expressed through demonstrations of physicality, ability to handle alcohol, and boisterousness. We demonstrate how this ritual is a form of calculated hedonism that is both congruent and convergent with traditional endurance sport practices and norms.