Well, not always, as having to chug beers between multiple 400-meter laps can upset the stomach, but that’s all part of the charm of the Beer Mile, a unique race that has participants competing in running and drinking.
The beer mile started off as a frat tradition in 1990, when a group of Canadian thought it would be fun to race each other while chugging a few beers. But it has come a long way since then, as the Beer Mile Race is now a major sporting event with around 100,000 official entries, brand name sponsorships, and extensive media coverage. In 2015, the first Beer Mile World Classic was held in San Francisco, where all of the record holders from Canada and the United States came together for an epic showdown, but this year, the event was organized in London, in an effort to raise awareness about the sport outside North America.
The rules of the race are pretty straightforward – runners have to consume four beers before each of the four 400-meter laps making up the famous Beer Mile. The beers can come in bottles or cans but should not be less than 355ml in volume and must be at least 5% alcohol by volume. Ciders or radlers (beer and lemonade) will not do, the beverage of choice must be a hard beer brewed from malted cereal grains and flavored with hops. Runners must chug the beers within a “transition area” – a 10 meter zone before the start/finish line on a 400m track – and are advised to tip the bottle/can over their heads to confirm it’s empty.
Photo: YouTube screengrab
In the case of vomiting during the race, and yes, there’s quite a bit of that during the Beer Mile, offenders must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race (immediately after the completion of their 4th lap). Organizers mention that even in the case of multiple vomiting episodes, only one penalty lap must be completed.
This year, the Elite Men’s race was won by Canadian Corey Bellemore, who also set a new world record with a time of 4:34 minutes. “I just tried to chug the beers as quick as I could, hold them down , get the burps out,” he said at the end. “If you can chug like 8 seconds per beer, then you’ll be fine if you can run…fast laps too.”