History was made on December 1st, when Ontario-born Lewis Kent set a new world record for the fastest Beer Mile. For those who don’t know, the Beer Mile is a frat house inspired race that requires athletes to finish 4 beers over the course of a mile (four laps of a track). Last month, 21 year-old Kent finished in just 4 minutes and 47 seconds – less time than it takes make coffee in the morning. His new time crushed his previous world record by two seconds and beat Cory Gallagher, his closest competition, by just one second.
The Beer Mile dates back to the 1980s and has remained a fringe sport until recently. In 2014, the record time, untouched for over a decade, was topped by Lewis Kent. Now, networks like ESPN, Runner’s World, and others have all joined in to watch the next generation of athletes put their legs and stomachs to the test. ESPN even put out a live stream of the record-breaking race last December. Earlier this year Kent, the current record-holder, landed the first ever sponsorship in the sport. Hopefully this means we can expect many more beer-fueled track and field events in the future.
In an interview with Canadian Running Magazine, Kent admits that there’s a lot of guesswork when training for such an obscure sport. He began training with the same methods used by competitive eaters: eating giant servings of watermelon and pasta. “It’s good to stretch out your stomach, makes you feel a little better on race day”, says Kent. But he also notes that there’s a limit to how fast you can properly finish a beer, so at the end of the day the Beer Mile is still a race – best to train accordingly.
It’s no argument that the top times are impressive, but the real hero of the Beer Mile is 89 year old Elvira Montes. Montes not only ran the Beer Mile (impressive at any age) but she smashed her daughter’s time by 50 seconds! A seasoned runner, Montes reportedly prefers scotch over beer although claims the beers went down smoothly anyways. “I don’t have any secrets, just wanted to prove to my daughter that I could run and drink a beer” she said to a reporter from Runner’s World Magazine. After the race, Montes and her daughter celebrated at Hooter’s with scotch and wings. Let’s hope we can all age as well as Montes.
CAMRA Vancouver Contributor