What is a Beer Mile?

A beer mile is a race that involves both running and drinking.

Imagine running four laps around a track. Now, add in a 12-ounce beer before each lap. You drink, you run. That’s a beer mile for you.

The official beer mile track is usually 400 meters long. That means four beers and four laps to complete the event. You can’t move from the starting line until you finish your first beer. Then, you complete the lap and prep for your second beer. Repeat this until you complete four beers and four laps.

How Did the Beer Mile Race Come to Be?

The beer mile isn’t a new fad. It has a history. The inaugural Beer Mile World Championship occurred in Austin, Texas 2014. 

But before it gained championship status, it was a fun race among friends. However, the beer mile has grown into a competitive sport in recent years, especially with events like the 2023 Beer Mile World Classic.

Beer Mile Official Rules

The race follows a set of rules. Beermile.com is the official place where these rules are published. According to the rules, you must consume 12-ounce beer before each lap. The beer must be at least 5.0% alcohol by volume (ABV). If you vomit before finishing the race, you must complete an extra penalty lap.

Here are some questions you may have about the rules of the beer mile;

Each participant drinks four beers in a beer mile race and runs four laps around a standard 400m track. The sequence is simple: chug a beer, run a lap, and repeat thrice.

Where Do You Drink the Beer?

The beer has to be consumed within a special 9-meter zone known as the transition area. This zone is located between the starting and finishing lines of the 400m track. You can move within this area, but you can’t leave until you’ve finished your beer.

How Does the Race Start?

Racers start at the starting line and down their first beer in the transition area. This setup ensures that the race covers an exact mile.

What About Female Competitors?

Women also have the same rules. They drink four beers and run four laps. In some past events, women had to drink only three beers, but now it’s the same for everyone.

What Kind of Beer Should You Use?

Your beer choice isn’t unlimited. It must be from a can or bottle holding at least 355 mL (12 Oz). Additionally, the beer should have a minimum of 5% alcohol content.

Any Restrictions on the Beer Containers?

You can’t use specialized cans or bottles that allow the beer to pour out faster. Also, no tampering with the containers is permitted.

How do you prove you drank all your beer?

Providing video proof is smart if you aim for an official beer mile world record. You can tip the empty can or bottle over your head, collect the containers, and measure the leftover liquid to prove it’s less than 4 oz.

What if You Throw Up?

If you can’t keep it down and vomit before finishing the race, you’ll have to run an extra penalty lap at the end. Multiple bouts of vomiting still result in just one penalty lap.

By learning these rules, you’re now equipped to take part in or even organize your own beer mile event. This growing sport offers a unique challenge and is gaining increasing attention. So why not take the leap and try it out?

Who Holds the Beer Mile World Record?

beer mile
Image source: Runningmagazing.ca

The current beer mile world championship record holder is Corey Bellemore from Canada. He won his third world title in 2021 with a time of 4:28.1. Bellemore broke his own record of 4:33.6. Elizabeth Laseter shattered the record for women, taking the beer mile world by storm.

But let’s not forget about Elizabeth Laseter. She didn’t just break the women’s record; she smashed it!

People in the beer mile world couldn’t stop talking about her incredible time.

The Beer Mile World Classic is where most of these records get set. It’s like the Olympics for beer mile enthusiasts. They’re pretty strict about the rules, even down to the type of beer you can drink, to make sure everyone’s on a level playing field.

The event hops from city to city and attracts some top-notch runners and beer chuggers. It’s not just a goofy pastime anymore; it’s getting super competitive.

If you’re considering going for a world record, you better have someone film it. This isn’t just to show off to your friends later; it’s to make sure you’re following all the rules to the letter.

So, the world of beer miles is evolving, and each new record pumps up the intensity. It’s not just about how fast you can run, but also how fast you can chug that beer!

How Do You Win a Beer Mile Championship?

Winning a Beer Mile Championship isn’t a walk in the park, or should I say, a jog around the track. It’s like a double whammy of athletic prowess and beer-chugging finesse. You have to be fast on your feet and quick with your sips.

First up, let’s talk about the running part. This isn’t your average weekend jog; you’ve got to be in top shape. Your running game must be strong because you’re competing with some speedy folks out there. The elite runners are clocking laps at speeds most people can imagine.

But hold on, running is only half the battle. Now, onto the chugging part. You have to down a whole can of beer before each lap. That’s four beers throughout the race. If you’re slow at chugging, you’ll lag, no matter how fast you run.

It’s funny to think about, but the top players in this sport practice chugging just as much as they practice running. They know every second counts, whether they’re sprinting or sipping. There are even techniques to optimize your chugging speed, from the tilt of your head to how you hold the can.

And don’t forget the rules. You have to drink the beer within the “transition area” on the track, and the beer has to be at least 5% alcohol by volume. No cheating, no shortcuts. Elite competitors study these rules like it’s their job. Because, for some, it kinda is!

So, winning a Beer Mile Championship is about mastering two very different skills: running like the wind and chugging like a champ. Put those two together, and you’ve got a shot at the title.

Questions You May Have About a Beer Mile Race?

How many beers are in a beer mile?

In a beer mile, you’ll be drinking four beers. Yep, that’s right—four full cans or bottles. You drink one before each of the four laps you run on a standard 400-meter track.

What is the average beer mile time?

The average time for completing a beer mile varies widely, depending on your running and chugging skills. For everyday folks, times can range from 9 to 14 minutes.

How do you run a beer mile?

Running a beer mile involves more than just running. It’s a unique race where you drink a beer, then run a lap, and repeat this process until you’ve had four beers and run four laps.

The beer has to be consumed within a 9-meter “transition area” on the track before you start each lap. Also, remember, the beer must be a minimum of 5% alcohol by volume. And don’t even think about cheating—no specialized cans or methods to speed up the pouring. Oh, and if you throw up? You’ll have to run a penalty lap. 

What is a fast beer mile?

A fast beer mile is more than just a quick run; it’s a sprint with beers in between. In the beer mile world, anything under 6 minutes is considered really fast. The current men’s world record is just over 4 minutes, held by Corey Bellemore from Canada. He ran it in 4:28.1, which is crazy fast when considering the drinking involved.

For women, the record is equally jaw-dropping. Elizabeth Laseter holds the title with an astonishing time that has shaken the beer mile community.

So, how do they do it? It’s not just about running speed. You’ve got to have a good chug pace. These elite athletes practice not just running but also the art of chugging a beer quickly and efficiently. They’ve mastered the balance of drinking fast without getting too much foam or throwing up.

You’re in the elite category if you can finish a beer mile in under 6 minutes. If you can do it in under 5 minutes, you’re a beer mile superstar. Either way, a fast beer mile requires skill, practice, and probably a bit of a fearless attitude.

How do you run a beer mile without throwing up?

Alright, you want to tackle a beer mile without losing your beer, huh? First off, practice makes perfect. Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without training, don’t expect to guzzle four beers and sprint without some prep work. Start small—maybe walk or jog after drinking a beer to see how it feels.

Next, choose your beer like you’d choose your running shoes—wisely. You need something with at least 5% alcohol, but beyond that, go for something that won’t make you feel like you’ve eaten a whole meal. Lighter is usually better.

Now, about the chugging part. You don’t have to go all-out frat party here. Find a chug pace that’s quick but won’t make you hurl. Speed is good; puking, not so much.

Breathing. Yeah, it’s easy to forget, especially when you’re focused on not spilling your beer or tripping over your own feet. But good, deep breaths can be your best friend here.

Last tip: Listen to your body. If you feel that beer rising, slow it down or walk briefly. Trust me, the penalty lap for throwing up is not your desired badge of honor.

So, train a bit, pick your brew, find your pace, breathe, and know when to ease up. Do all that and you’re well on your way to finishing without any, let’s say, “extra laps.”

Is the beer mile dangerous?

Yes, the beer mile can be risky. Mixing running and chugging beers can lead to falls, dehydration, and even alcohol poisoning. It’s fun but not a joke. Make sure to know your limits and think about safety first.

Other races involving alcohol

The Wine Half Marathon

In this race, water stations are replaced by wine stations. Imagine running through vineyards and stopping for a sip of fine wine every few miles. Sounds dreamy. Just be cautious; too much wine might slow you down!

The Bourbon Chase

Love bourbon? This is your race. This 200-mile relay race takes you through the heart of Kentucky bourbon country. Teams of runners take turns, and yes, there are bourbon-tasting stops along the way.

The Jingle Bell Run

Okay, this one is not strictly alcohol-focused, but many participants make it so by adding some “holiday cheer” to their hydration plans. Runners dress up in festive costumes, making for a jolly race you can enjoy with a bit of spiked eggnog.

Beer 5K

A more manageable version of the beer mile, this race involves running a full 5K, but with beer stations along the way instead of water stations. It’s a real test of balancing your drinking and running stamina.

The Champagne Run

Want to keep it classy? This race involves running a set distance and then finishing with a delightful glass of champagne. Cheers to that!

Pub Runs

Many cities have informal “pub runs” where participants run from pub to pub, enjoying a drink at each stop. Usually more of a fun run, the focus is not so much on speed but on socializing and enjoying the run.

Hash House Harriers

Described as “a drinking club with a running problem,” this international group organizes runs that are more like scavenger hunts with beer stops along the way. It’s a social event that combines running, problem-solving, and drinking.

Remember, while these races are fun, drinking responsibly is crucial. The mixing of alcohol and exercise can lead to dehydration and impaired judgment. Always know your limits and listen to your body. Cheers and happy beer running!

References

  • “The Complete Beermile.com Standard Beer Mile Ruleset”. Beer Mile.
  • “Canada’s Corey Bellemore breaks own beer mile world record”. Beer Mile. 24 October 2021.
  • “Canada’s Corey Bellemore breaks world beer mile record”. Canadian Running Magazine.
  • Radley, Scott (3 December 2014). “Raise a glass, no a can, for Seanna”. The Hamilton Spectator.
  • Wade, Alison (5 November 2014). “44-Year-Old Mother of Six Shatters Beer Mile World Record”. Runner’s World.
  • Official Beer Mile World Record: 4:57 by James Nielsen
  • Mack, Gordon (December 4, 2014). “2014 Beer Mile World Championship – Men’s Race (Gallagher wins in 5:00.23)”. Flo Track.
  • Cigelske, Tim. “Brew Mile starts race series”. Draft Mag.
Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.