Beer mile

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Bierathlon participants in Harrislee

A beer mile is a 1-mile (1,609 m) drinking race combining running and speed drinking. Typically, the race takes place on a standard 400-meter or 1/4-mile running track. The race begins at the 1-mile starting line with the consumption of a 12-US-fluid-ounce (355 ml) beer, followed by a full lap around the track. The second lap continues in a similar manner; another 12-ounce beer is consumed before commencing the running of the second lap. This process is repeated for the next two laps. Following the completion of the fourth running lap (and four beers), a competitor has finished the race. More specific rules of the race vary by region. In North America, typically, 12 US ounces of beer is consumed from a can or bottle before every lap. A set of rules has been defined and published by[1]

Elite History[edit]

James Nielsen[2] helped bring the beer mile into the public eye after becoming the first to break the five-minute barrier in 2014. Much like the four-minute barrier in the mile run, the five-minute barrier tempts beer-milers worldwide.[3] Since then the record has been lowered a handful of times by runners from all over the world.

In 2014, the inaugural Beer Mile World Championship was held in Austin, Texas. The men's race was won by Canadian Corey Gallagher with a time of 5:00.23.[4] In the women's race, American Beth Herndon set a new world record with a time of 6:17.8.[5]

On July 30, 2015, in the run-up to the Beer Mile World Classic, Australian Josh Harris (4:56.2) broke James Nielsen's World Record. Harris became the second man to break the 5 minute barrier. The record lasted less than 12 hours. By the end of the day, Lewis Kent of Canada ran a 4:55.78.[6] This set up the highly anticipated Beer Mile World Classic on August 12th. Founded by James Nielsen and Kingston Rule Pioneer John Markell; The Men's inaugural World Classic pitted the last four world record holders against each other for the first time. Called the Beer Mile of the Century, it was the first time sub-5-minute beer milers competed in the same race (Josh Harris:[7] Australia, James Nielsen:[8] USA, and Lewis Kent:[9] Canada).[10] Canadian Jim Finlayson, another former world record holder, finished third overall, behind Kent and American Brian Anderson. The times were slowed by the heavy winds, but Kent dominated the race from first sip to last stride.

Canada won the men's World Classic Kingston Cup. Nielsen was a notable disqualification (for excessive spillage). Josh Harris suffered a reversal of fortune in the sport's most prominent puke. Race announcer Josh Muxen dubbed it the "Chunder from Down Under". Nielsen's disqualification was the deciding factor in the Canadian Men's Victory. Turning the 10–11 American victory into a 10–11 Canadian win. The American women won the Queens cup in a sweep, with Caitlin Judd, Chris Kimbrough and Lindsay Harper taking the Top 3 Spots.[11]

The 2nd Annual FloTrack Beer Mile World Championship was held in Austin, Texas on December 1, 2015. This event proved to be an instant classic with both men surpassing the previous world best. Kent set a new world record with a time of 4:47.17 and Gallagher finished with a time of 4:48.62. Postscript and Skepticism of 2015 Flotrack Event: The times of this race are in question as the track was considered to be short as the tangents on the turns weren't properly measured. Also, the chug zone was found to be 8 meters too long for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th laps. The women's elite field consisted of two of the top three fastest women ever making this the most competitive Beer Mile field ever assembled. Erin O'Mara set a new world record* with a time of 6:08. Again, The times of this race are in question as the track was considered to be short as the tangents on the turns and chug zones weren't properly measured. The current record recognized by most officials is Elizabeth Herndon's 6:17 at the 2015 Flotrack Race.

On July 31, 2016, Canadian Corey Bellemore shattered the world record in London at the Beer Mile World Classic with a time of 4:34.35.[12] Dale Clutterbuck finished in second, breaking the European record in a time of 4:47:39. Currently, this is the fastest and deepest race ever run. This is the only race to have all legal sub 4:50 beer milers competing. Lewis Kent, who started the week as the World Record Holder (4:47 unofficial and 4:51 on the track) finished 6th in 5:11. Canada once again repeated as the men's team champion (Kingston Cup) and the North American Women beat the European/English team for the Queen's cup. The women's race was won by Erin O'Mara, with the British and European record going to Polly Keen of England.[13][14]

The third annual Beer Mile World Classic was held again in London in 2017, with the American Men sweeping the first three positions to take home the Kingston Cup. World Record Holder Corey Bellemore missed the event due to National Track and Field Team obligations (Francophone and World University Games) All three American men were current or former American Record Holders, with Chris Robertson getting a well-earned win over English Chunder Mile Record Holder, Dale Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck suffered a reversal of fortune at the beginning of the last lap. Garrett Cullen earned the silver, and Brandon Shirk earned the bronze for the second straight year. The women's race was on World Record Pace. The first two women crossed the line (The United States Allison Grace Morgan and England's Laura Riches) under Liz Herndon's World Record. However, both were disqualified for Reversals of Fortune in the last chug zone. The eventual winner, Bryony Pearce was the 4th athlete across the line, and was the surprise winner. England was the de facto winners of the Queens Cup.

On October 28, 2017, Corey Bellemore broke his own record in San Francisco with a time of 4:33.6[15]. The event boasted the largest ever crowd for a beer mile (6200 estimated attendance) and was hosted as a joint effort between the Beer Mile World Classic and the San Francisco Deltas Soccer Team. Bellemore's performance likely would have been faster, but he had to move out to Lane 3 each lap due to soccer benches in the first 2 lanes [16]

"Chunder" Mile[edit]

In the United Kingdom, an imperial pint (19.2 imperial ounces) typically is consumed before every lap, with no specification of the drinking vessel but pint glasses are preferred for the speed in which the beverage can be finished. The one lap penalty for "chundering" (vomiting) is not generally enforced.

The current Chunder Mile World Record is 4:57 by Dale "King" Clutterbuck of England.[17] Clutterbuck is the only person to break 5 in the Chunder Mile, and at this point is also the only person to go under 5 minutes for both the beer mile and Chunder Mile.[18] Five days after setting the chunder mile record, Clutterbuck was defeated by US Record Holder Chris Robertson at the 2017 Beer Mile World Classic. Clutterbuck withdrew from the race after a reversal of fortune on the final lap. (This was preceded by Robertson passing him in the final chug zone).


Some variations of the beer mile are

  • 4 × 40 oz. relay - In this event, a team of four competitors run 100 metres each around the track, finishing a 40 oz bottle of beer or malt liquor on the way.
  • Wild Turkey 2-mile - Each competitor runs eight laps, with a shot of whiskey (usually Wild Turkey) before every lap.
  • Naked 4 × 400 m - Each member of a four-competitor team runs a lap around the track nude – drinking is technically optional, but encouraged.
  • Beer 2 Mile - This event involves consuming four more beers for a total of eight beers and eight laps, vomiting only incurs one penalty lap.
  • Vodka 2 Mile - Competitors consume eight shots of vodka and run eight laps.
  • Chocolate Milk Mile - Instead of beer, competitors consume 48 ounces of chocolate milk and run four quarters.
  • Female Beer Mile – Like the standard beer mile except the first lap can be run without consuming a beer. This rule is often enacted to encourage female participation. Though in elite races like the Beer Mile World Classic and the FloTrack Beer Mile, women drink four beers. The four beer rule can be attributed to former World Record Holder Seanna Robinson's insistence that women run under the same rules.[19]

Defunct Race Series[edit]

After Nielsen's breakthrough race and advent of the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships and Beer Mile World Classic, several small companies tried to take advantage of the press surrounding elite beer miles. Two National Race Series Emerged and quickly folded. The Brew Mile[20] and the National Beer Mile.[21] Bt the end of 2016, neither race series was solvent,[22] with the National Beer Mile closing operations under dubious circumstances.[23]


Kastenlauf (short for "Bierkastenlauf", literally "beer crate running"), Kistenlauf, Bierlauf, Bierkastenrennen (literally crate-running, beer crate-running, or equivalents), Bier-Rallye, or Bierathlon, is a drinking sport in the German-speaking countries Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It is a race among teams that consist of two people carrying a crate of beer, all of which must be consumed prior to crossing the finish line. The route is about 10 km long, although it can vary from half this to twice this.[24] As an anti-littering measure, the participants are usually expected to keep all the crown corks from the crate until they cross the finish line.

The name bierathlon is also used for a students' event where participants have to drink a beer in a fixed order in a number of pubs of the city, which is certified by stamps.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Erika Odmark (2014-04-28), Official Beer Mile World Record: 4:57 by James Nielsen, retrieved February 15, 2016 
  3. ^ "5 minute barrier: will it be broken?". Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  4. ^ "2014 Beer Mile World Championship - Men\'s Race (Gallagher wins in 5:00.23!)". flotrack. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  5. ^ "2014 Beer Mile World Championship - Women\'s Race (Herndon sets WR 6:17.76)". flotrack. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Josh Harris looking to reclaim world record at Beer Mile World Classic". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  8. ^ "After bringing beer mile to forefront, James Nielsen is back for more". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  9. ^ "As Beer Mile World Classic approaches, Lewis Kent relives world-record run". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  10. ^ "Beer Mile World Classic delivers excitement". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Canadian Men, American Women Dominate Beer Mile World Classic". Runner's World. Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Bad Boy Running Podcast: Ep29 - The Beer Mile vs The Great British Beerathon". Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  14. ^ "New Beer Mile World Record set in London". Runner's World. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
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  24. ^ "Vogelsberger Kastenlauf"[permanent dead link]

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