The Beer Mile: Chug or Chuck, Just Run

Beer Mile start of the race with a beer

There really isn’t much that compares to an ice cold beer after a long hard run. It seems as though the malted bubbly beverage is the ultimate refresher when your body has had enough of the heat, exercise and endless miles of terrain. However, consuming beer during exercise is the last thing any sane person could think of. That is, until 30 years ago.

Introducing the Beer Mile

It is growing sport that tests the boundaries of athleticism and speed drinking. Down a beer. Run a lap. Repeat three times. By the end of the race you will have totaled four brews and the most painful mile you’ll ever run in your life. If you chuck, you will be penalized with an extra lap. Practice that speed drinking pal.

“As bizarre as it may sound, the Beer Mile really is a thing. And it’s really taking off.”

The founding drinking fathers of the sport are still a bit hazy, but the most known origin begins with a couple of Canadian cross-country lads from Burlington, Ontario. As the legend goes, the group of young runners came up with an idiotic drinking came that would eventually become world famous.

After spreading across Canadian college campuses, word got around to the United States. A guy by the name of Peter Butler took it upon himself to document the newfound sport. In 1998, he bought the domain name Beermile.com and has tracked over 100,000 entries ever since. Not a bad story for something that was created by a couple of drunk teens trying to entertain themselves.

The Birth of a Sport

The Beer Mile has transformed into a drinking extravaganza with an ever-expanding following base. Thanks to a viral youtube video below made by James Nielson, the sport has never been the same. Nielson had his wife film him run the world’s first sub-five minute beer mile in early 2014.

In December of that year, the Flotrack Beer Mile World Championship was the first global event to take place in the the States. Competitors arrived in Austin, Texas for a shot at five grand and the best drinking bragging rights one could possess. In the 2015 annual race, Canadian Lewis Kent set a new world record with a time of 4:47:17.

On July 31, 2016 another Canadian runner named Corey Bellemore shattered the world record tallying a 4:34:35 time in London’s Beer Mile World Classic.

Bellemore will look to defend his title at the same event this year which takes place on August 12 at the Saracens Stadium in London.  The race will likely draw a crowd by the thousands to watch the top Beer Milers from 10 different nations compete for first place.

Ticket holders will also be able to enjoy an all-day beer festival following the event with live music and endless brews. It quite possibly may be the best way to celebrate athletic rivalry and humanity’s common love for beer.

Unfortunately Beer Mile’s official site does not go in-depth about the signup process.  The site states that most races are small, fun and safe events organized between friends. However, it does provide the official rules. After browsing for a few minutes, you’ll get a good sense on how to compete in a beer mile without breaking any of the rules. The only thing they don’t teach you is how to chug a beer, and keep it down.

Beer Mile Races

Fellow Beer Milers encourage you to join the Facebook forum where you can find out details of future events and tips on how to survive the race. Many of the big-time events require runners to qualify for the official race but offer a secondary heat for those looking to have a little fun.

The Beer Mile has inspired a bunch of race variations as well. The official website lists several  spin-off races. Do you work better in a team atmosphere? Give the 4 x 40 Beer relay a shot where four team members each down a 40 oz. beer and run a lap. For those who really hate their bodies, check out the Bicentennial. Drink 100 beers and run 100 miles. Rumor has it that the best time was completed in 154 hours.

Think you got a chance to beat some records? Maybe you just want to shove it in a friends face that you are the alpha drinker and athlete in the group. Sign up for a Beer Mile event and go have a blast!

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Harry R Bennett III

Harry R. Bennett III is a Los Angeles native who grew up addicted to playing sports. His love for the game of baseball eventually landed him several scholarships to play college ball across the United States. After receiving his B.A. in journalism, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and moved to New York City in an effort to pursue his passion in the sports industry.Bennett has worked with major companies such as Fox Sports and Major League Baseball and has written for several online publications covering a variety of sports content. Although his playing days are over, he enjoys the endless pursuit of competition from athletics and action sports.

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