Lords of the Drinks

The Beer Mile, a biathlon for real sportsmen


Contestants and beers are lined up before the start of a Beer Mile.

If you’re into sports, you probably know about the , a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. But have you heard about the Beer Mile? It’s an upcoming sport that involves both running and chugging beers. In other words: a discipline for true sportsmen. Last week the world record was broken twice in 24 hours, when the Australian Josh Harris set a time of 4.56.02, a few hours before Canadian Lewis Kent clocked 4.55.78. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting young sport and hope the gentlemen of the International Olympic Committee do too. Cause since the biathlon is an Olympic event, the Beer Mile can’t stay behind.

The rules of the Beer Mile are pretty simple. All you need is a normal 400 meters running track and 4 beers. The contestants chug a beer as fast as they can and run one lap. Back at the start and finish line, they repeat this ritual and after that two more times. The beers must contain at least 5% alcohol and they should really be chugged, shotgunning is not allowed. Now the size of the beer may be different in certain parts of the world. In the United States and Canada the regular size is 12 ounces (about 355 ml), where imperial pints (568 ml) are common in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Growing sport
The Beer Mile may have started off as a funny game, by now more and more people are starting to take this sport serious. Last December the first World Championship was held in Austin, Texas (USA) and the battle for the official world record is a fierce one. A top time is only recognized if the whole race has been caught on tape and through Youtube the world is watching. The 8th of August was a legendary day in the young history of the Beer Mile. Australian Josh Harris (with American-sized beers) set a new world record at 4.56.02 but couldn’t enjoy that for too long. When the day broke in the American continent the Canadian Lewis Kent (21) set a new best time at 4.55.78. With more and more real athletes actually training for this sport it seems likely that this won’t be the last time the record is broken.

World Championships
The second ever World Championships Beer Mile are scheduled for the 30th of November, again in Austin. World record holder Kent will represent Team Canada, but he isn’t too sure about his chances for the win, since most of his rivals were awfully quiet after the last World Cup. “Honestly I think somebody is going to come in and run 4.50 on the nose. I have no idea what shape a bunch of these guys are in because they haven’t been doing videos”, he said to Citynews.ca.

Micky Bumbar