If you enjoy a bit of strenuous exercise with your drinking and you haven’t done a beer mile yet, what exactly have you been doing with yourself over the last couple years? Don’t waste any more time; get yourself to London, Ontario (just a short jaunt from Detroit or Buffalo) in July to compete in the first annual London Beer Mile Festival.
The beer mile, for those unfamiliar with it, is a one mile race that involves drinking a full beer before each quarter mile. So, if you’re racing on a normal 400 meter track, the sequence is: drink a beer, run a lap, drink a beer, run a lap, drink a beer, run a lap, drink a beer, run a lap. Unless you throw up during the event, in which case you must run a penalty lap.
As an event, the beer mile has become surprisingly mainstream in recent years, especially for an activity that has explicit rules dealing with the likely event that someone may vomit while participating. Sanctioned races have been held on three continents, runners now include college champions and Olympians, and former beer mile world record holder Lewis Kent actually has a sponsorship deal from the Brooks shoe company.
The festival at London, Ontario’s TD Waterhouse stadium on July 28 may be the biggest collection of beer mile races in a single day. Starting at 2 p.m. there will be 12 heats of the beer mile, with races for all drinking and running ability levels. The early races will be for people who may take over half an hour to finish the race, with the final one for runners like Kent who may run close to five minutes or even faster. They also have a four person relay for those who can’t quite handle chugging four beers in the midst of running a mile. Once all the running is done for the day, participants and fans can hang out for a post race party with lawn games, food trucks and, of course, a lot more beer. Individual entry costs $70 and includes the four race beers and a t-shirt. Relay entry is $100 per team.
If you’re really into the beer mile lifestyle you may also want to head to the Beer Mile World Classic in Vancouver on August 11. The invitational race is the defacto beer mile world championship. Tickets go on sale soon for both the race and the after party. Of course, if you can’t make it to Canada, you can always just run your own beer mile. You were planning on working out and having a few beers anyway, so why not do both at once?