New Beer Mile Record Brews Controversy

track race

The infamous Beer Mile has been receiving more attention due to a recent world-record dispute, reports ESPN. The Beer Mile is a painful and excruciating run where contestants are required to drink a 12-ounce beer from a brand of their choice—as long as the beer contains at least 5 percent alcohol—then run a quarter mile, four times. Even Nick Symmonds, an American track star that finished fifth in the 800 meters at the London Olympics advises people “not to do it.”

The beer mile was invented more than 25 years ago by high schoolers in Ontario, Canada. The race challenges a person’s ability not only to run fast, but run fast with 48 ounces of beer sloshing around in their stomach. The agonizing process has lead to some contestants throwing up on the side of the track, which is punished with a penalty lap.

When James Nielsen claimed to have broken the five-minute beer mile record with a time of 4:57 by posting a video of his run on YouTube, controversy brewed amongst runners. Although officially recognizes Nielsen’s time, calling him a “sports Jesus,” other beer mile runners do not believe it was possible for Nielsen to drink his second beer in 3.9 seconds. Instead, they question whether he finished all of his beers. Nielsen rebutted by saying that although it takes six to nine seconds to pour a beer out of a can, you can suck beer out of a can in less time than that.

The winner of the Beer Mile championship in Austin, Texas, Corey Gallagher—a 27-year-old mailman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who finished in five minutes flat—called James Nielsen a “cheat and a fake,” claiming that if he was “legit” he would have participated in the competition.

Nielsen plans to stage a beer mile run this August in San Francisco with four of the past and present beer mile record holders to settle the score once and for all. [ESPN] [Photo:]