Frequently I search the Internet for interesting beer news to relay here on the Springfield Brew Crew Blog. Today, as I searched and aimlessly followed a labyrinth of links into the bowels of the web I came across something that caught my eye. And then, in conjunction with that item, I found another. I’ll detail my second discovery later, but today I am going to tell you about an odd alliance between running and beer.
It has long been known that beer is an excellent source of carbohydrates and many athletes will drink a pint after their event to replenish lost energy. Some will even drink before to carbo-load their muscles with energy. But, until today, I had never heard of drinking beer while running a mile. Not only is this an established sport, there are a surprising number of events known as Beer Miles going on all over the country and the world.
The origination of the beer mile is shrouded in mystery, but it is generally accepted that the sport began right here in Florida on a college campus. Which college campus is not mentioned, but I think we can all figure that one out on our own. The first set of rules emerged from a group of milers in Kingston, Canada. In the U.K, Australia, and New Zealand, the event is called the Chunder Mile. The rules vary slightly in that an Imperial pint – or 20 ounces – of beer must be consumed from any drinking vessel the runner desires. But, in North America, the Kinston Rules have gone on to be adopted by most beer-milers with few modifications.
Website beermile.com publishes an extensive FAQ on the sport along with the more-or-less accepted rules for North America. The idea of the sport is to run a mile while consuming four beers in a specific order – beer, run a quarter-mile, beer, run again, beer, run some more, beer, stumble to the finish line. A runner must drink the first beer before he or she begins to run and must complete each subsequent beer before continuing the run. Should a runner not be able to hold their beer down, they must complete a fifth penalty lap. Beer must be consumed from a standard 12 ounce beer can with no alterations or “Easy Pour” mouths – meaning that “shot-gunning” a beer is strictly prohibited. Beer must be no less than 5% ABV to qualify as a suitable beer for completion. The entire competition is timed and the winner is lauded at the end.
To date, the fastest officially-recorded beer mile was completed in 5:09.0; a seemingly miraculous feat that may never be beaten.