You do not want to be the sideline reporter at the inaugural Beer Mile World Championships.
Under the lights in Austin Texas, elite runners circled a quarter mile track four times, stopping between each lap to chug a canned beer. And as they stumbled across the finish line, a sideline reporter wielded a microphone to get post-race interviews with the tipsy finishers – artfully dodging projectile vomit.
Until December 3, 2014, when the track and field broadcast company Flotrack beamed play-by-play analysis of the sponsored event across the web, the beer mile was an underground, late-night endeavor for out-of-season collegiate distance runners.
The rules go like this: drink a beer then run a lap around a standard 400-meter track, repeat three more times as fast as possible. The beer must be in a can or bottle, it must be above five percent ABV, and it cannot be shot gunned. Lose your cookies before finishing and you earn a penalty lap.
The best runners/chuggers in the world, including Olympian Nick Symmonds, gathered in Austin to do just that, vying for the current world record, set last April, of 4:57.
Time to pause and think about that for a moment. The fastest chuggers in the sport take about seven to eight seconds to chug each beer. Since you cannot run while gulping, that means the world record holder James Nielsen, dropped about a 4:20 mile with 48 ounces of breaded carbonation in his stomach.
As you will see below, the men’s winner Corey Gallagher failed to reach that mark, coming through the line in 5:00.23.
In the post-race interview, that didn’t seem to matter too much as Gallagher grasped a giant $2,500 check, letting slower finishers vacuum their stomachs after crossing the finish line behind him.