The beer mile was “invented” in 1989. The official rules consist of drinking four beers over the course of a mile, run on a standard track.
- The founders of the beer mile — all young adults at the time — hail from Canada. Despite their adventurous antics, they’ve all gone on to become successful teachers, accountants, IT executives, and more…meaning the mastermind behind this whole thing could’ve been your high school science teacher.
The concept of a beer mile has been around since 1989, but official beer mile race results (found on beermile.com) only date back about 20 years.
- The race gained national notoriety when James Nielsen broke the world record with his 4:51.1 run in April 2014, which he posted to YouTube. The video quickly went viral.
Legitimizing the race, the first-ever Beer Mile World Championship was held in December 2014, in Austin, Texas. Corey Gallagher won at a time of 5:00.23.
- Choosing the right beer is the first step in running a successful beer mile. To follow official regulations (aka, “The Kingston Rules”), your beer must have at least a 5 percent alcohol content.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the best male beer-milers spend somewhere between 4 and 6 seconds at their first stop in the “party zone” (the 10-meter zone within which beer milers must consume their beer); the best women stay for about 11 seconds.
- In 2014, the beer mile world record was broken twice in the same day. Nielsen’s record was broken by Austrailian Josh “Harry” Harris, who clocked a 4:56.1 on August 7. Not 14 hours later, Lewis Kent of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada recorded a 4:55.78.
There’s a technique to the chug: Tilting your can at a 45-degree angle before proceeding to a full tilt can help with air displacement.
- If you vomit mid race, you’ll earn yourself an extra penalty lap to be run after the completion of a mile.
The epic race has been covered by ESPN, Outside Online, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, Draft Magazine, and more.
Want to run a beer mile of your own? Sign up for your local Brew Mile today.