Today in Austin, more than 150 runners will sprint while chugging beers in the Beer Mile World Championships. The premise of the race is simple: Chug one beer for every quarter mile lap and try not to vomit. Vomiting will get you disqualified.

Competitors can run with a range of beers—anything from Dale’s Pale Ale to Heineken. Each runner can select their brew based on their personal preferences, but often foaminess and drinkability are a huge factor. The one caveat is it must be at least 5% ALV.

The run got its roots in Kingston, Ontario, where the first recorded beer mile occurred. Because of local open container laws, beer runs usually take place in the dark—today’s starts at 5:30pm—which lends itself to some interesting training practices. The New York Times highlighted one runner who jogged on a treadmill at “top speed for a mile” while guzzling down four beers. Another runner killed a 12-pack every other day by combining interval training with beer chugging. He also put on five to 10 pounds, so don’t adopt that as part of your weight loss routine.


The hardest part, many runners said, was actually drinking the beer:

“It feels like there’s a giant air bubble stuck between your stomach and throat and you can burp all you want, but it never goes away,” he said. “And then, of course, you’re trying to sprint.”

If you’re interested in giving it a try, know that endurance isn’t everything. Bicyclist Lance Armstrong ran a qualifying race, but couldn’t make it past the first lap. However, Boston Marathon runner Scott MacPherson believes his years of heavy drinking at the University of Arkansas gave him a competitive edge:

“In running circles, I’m known as the guy who maybe likes the after-party more than the race itself,” he said. “In college I used to chug all the time. And I was really good at it, like really, really good at it.”

To find a beer mile in your area, register on To begin training, it maybe more helpful to hit the bar than the pavement.


Photos: Facebook

[via The New York Times]