Local news stations love to send their reporters out to cover fun stories like parades and beach days on the Fourth of July. So when KTLA in Southern California sent Wendy Burch out to cover a beer Ironman on the beach, she thought she’d have fun.
This was the assignment, as she wrote for the Huffington Post:
When I glanced at my email around 3am, I thought, “Cool. An assignment down at the beach.” I did skim something about an ‘ironman’ competition. Figured it was just your usual run, swim, bike sorta thing for a group of motivated people with low body fat.
Boy, was I wrong.
The Hermosa Beach Ironman motto is: “Run, Paddle, Chug!” That’s right. These ‘athletes’ run a mile, paddle a mile and then chug a six pack of beer. They’ve been doing this for the last 43 years. Ask a local and they will tell you it started out with just a bunch of guys who wanted to get drunk with friends and check out some pretty girls on the Fourth of July. Four decades later, the premise is still pretty much the same, except thousands now join in the raucous event. (I say thousands, because it’s hard to find anything truly ‘official’ associated with this ironman competition). There are some judges, and a timer. But it’s mostly just about the beer.
Everything was going fine and dandy—Burch had plenty of interviews with happy, drunk “athletes.” However, when you mix lots of alcohol with exercise, it’s likely someone is going to puke. Unfortunately, they puked all over Burch.
Right after that moment, the station had technical difficulties and the anchors gasped in horror.
However, Burch thought she was still on air and continued to report. She later found out that she didn’t need to.
And while the anchors tried to regain their composure and go onto the next story. I assumed I was still live. So, for the better part of the next two minutes, I just kept interviewing drunken people. while sudsy substances flew in in the air and landed in my hair.
Let’s say, after that, it was a wrap.
Who says reporters don’t have great jobs?