When Preakness Stakes officials decided to “clean up” race-day festivities in 2008, they instituted stricter alcohol service policies to prevent, in the most part, people from, well, doing this…
What you just witnessed, maybe for the first alarming time ever, was formerly heralded as “The Running of The Urinals,” the “Preakness 500,” or, like, one of a hundred different names depending on what intoxicated patron you were asking.
“The Running of The Port-A-Potties,” as it was always referred to in my circle, is unfortunately (in the most facetious sense possible) a now pretty-much defunct tradition that was ostracized from the grounds of Pimlico Raceway for reasons beyond my understanding…because it was honestly more entertaining to watch than the horses*.
Instead of allowing Preakness patrons to bring an unlimited amount of booze into the infield (everything that you could rightfully carry and/or pay the children of Baltimore $5.00 to push to the Pimlico Raceway gates in presumably stolen shopping carts), the Preakness changed its policy in 2008 to only allow alcohol consumption via a purchased mug that could only be refilled at official-manned keg stations. Fucking travesty, if you ask me.
So this year just ahead of post time, we’ll take a look back, with a somber overtone of remembrance and reflection, at what the infield at the Preakness used to be like in the glory days.
Now whatever the impetus was (it was alcohol in abundance, fucking duh) for patrons to take part in this kind of ridiculous, self-deprecating mayhem, is beyond me. But all I can say is the infield at Pimlico is nowhere near as fun these days.
Here’s what the pretty standard race looked like. This was 2007.
It’s important to note that only the most fierce, prided (read: beyond inebriated) runners would try to tackle the Port-A-Potties as the day wore on. Morning runners were usually met with less of a backlash in the form of full cans being launched from every direction imaginable, but, as the day stretched on the gauntlet would intensify, channeling the spirits of the patrons.
Check out this guy’s SUPER admirable effort in 2008. There’s no way he remembered doing this, so thank God for cell phone cameras.
“Wow, that dude was hammered. Could you get any drunker?”
Ummmmm, yeah. You totally haven’t Preakness’d until you’ve taken a mid-day swan dive off the top of a urinal like this poor soul.
Because I know you want to watch that on repeat a few thousand times, here.
Total A+ for effort, but if we’re being honest, Lebron wasn’t even clearing that gap. Just listen to the girl’s gasp of horror at the end on loop a few times over. Listen hard enough, and it sounds like an actual horse “yee-haw.” Dear God.
Unbelievably, the kid apparently got up and walked away several moments later. Must’ve been the booze at work, or a Preakness miracle, or maybe a combination of both.
Unfortunately, though, all good things must come to an end sometime, as this sorely missed Preakness tradition did somewhere between 2009 and 2010.
A brave soul attempted to revive it in 2011, and pulled off a pretty successful run, but the glory was short lived as he was met by event security soon as he hopped off the John.
One measly, empty plastic mug thrown. You have to applaud the effort, though.
To round it out with style, because I would never leave you hanging, we’ll roll back the clock to this brutal run from 2008. This is the one responsible for the .gif at the top of where the guy takes a full Natty to the dome.
How ’bout the guy who launches one at him point blank after he already hit the deck. Ruthless.
Literally, this was, best put, debauchery at its unrivaled finest.
R.I.P Running of The Port-A-Potties. You may be gone, but you’re surely not forgotten. And other Preakness traditions still reign on today. Like, Black Eyed Susans and hundreds of people peeing through an infield fence simultaneously while Maryland state troopers stand on the other side, simply observing, because they know full well there’s nothing they can do about the mayhem that is the Preakness Stakes.
For everything you need to know about betting odds, etc. for this year’s race, head over HERE.
*Editor’s Note: I honestly did not see one single horse at any time, for even a fraction of a second, during my first Preakness experience in 2006. But I think I drank, like, 30 beers.