Booze & Brawn at the Beer Mile World Championships

RealClear Contributor


What is a Beer Mile?

The Beer Mile World Championships is an annual running and beer race that began in Canada in 1989, and is now held in Austin, Texas.

A beer mile is simple: You drink a 12-ounce beer, you run a quarter of a mile, and then you do that 3 more times, all while trying not to vomit (doing so gets you an additional quarter-mile lap around the track). 

Check out the official rules below, as well as footage of the elite men's and women's races!

Men's Race

Corey Gallagher, mailman  from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, won the men's in 5:00.23 (the world record for men is 4:57).

Women's Race

 Elizabeth Herndon, a scientist from Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the women's in  6:17.76, and set a new world record!

Beer Mile World Championships Official Rules


- Each competitor drinks four cans (or bottles) of beer and runs four laps on a track.
Start - beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap - Finish

- Beer must be consumed before the lap has begun, within the transition area.
(The 10 meter zone before the start/finish line.)

- The race begins with the drinking of the first beer in the last meter of the transition zone.
This ensures the competitors run a complete mile.

- Competitors must drink cans or bottles of beer and the contents will be no less than 12oz.
Bottles may be substituted for cans as long as they are at least 12 oz (355 ml) in volume.

- No specialized cans or bottles may be used that give an advantage by allowing the beer to pour at a faster rate.
“Super mega mouth cans” or “vortex bottles” and other such containers are prohibited.

- Beer cans must not be tampered with in any manner.
No shotgunning or puncturing of the can except for opening the can by the tab at the top.

- Beer must be a minimum of 5% alcohol by volume.

- The beer must be a fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and flavored with hops.

- Each beer can must not be opened until the competitor enters the transition zone on each lap.

- Competitors who vomit before they finish the race must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race.
Immediately after the completion of their 4th lap.



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