Beer Mile World Classic

Photo: Tyler Deniston.

London will be home to two world championships this summer, and they just so happen to coincide with each other. While Canada’s best in athletics will compete at the IAAF World Championships Aug. 5-13, the nation’s best at running and drinking will also be in town for the Beer Mile World Classic.

Organizers for the event, which will be held for the third consecutive year in 2017, announced that Aug. 12 will be the date for the Beer Mile World Classic. It’s the second year in a row that Allianz Park (Saracens Stadium) will host the world classic. The inaugural edition was held in San Francisco before going overseas.

RELATED: The weird, wacky and wild variations of the beer mile.

The beer mile is simple: Run four quarters of a 400m track; drink one beer of 355 mL volume and five per cent or more alcohol at the start of each quarter. If you vomit, you need to run a fifth quarter, known as a penalty lap. The men’s world record in the event is 4:34.35, held by Canada’s Corey Bellemore. The women’s world record is 6:08, held by Erin O’Mara. To put it into comparison, the top men in the world are about 10 seconds faster than Bellemore in an open mile (1,609m).

What’s interesting about the announcement is that the Beer Mile World Classic will be held on the penultimate day of the IAAF World Championships. In other words, the best athletes in the world will be in town, and depending on their schedules, may be done representing their country at nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“Having the two events side by side will give people a chance to see that the beer mile is no longer an amateur sport,” says Beer Mile World Classic event producer Nick McFalls. The men’s world record was set at the 2016 Beer Mile World Classic, with footage of the chugging and running race being viewed tens of millions of times.

There are expected to be athletes from Canada, the United States, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany and Denmark at the Beer Mile World Classic. Other nations will likely be represented too as the event is still months away.

Bellemore has won two consecutive global championships in the beer mile including the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships and the world classic. He runs for Adidas while former world record holder Lewis Kent runs for Brooks, both athletes who have signed apparel deals due, at least in part, to their beer mile abilities. O’Mara is the defending women’s champion.

The two stadiums hosting the championships are approximately 15K apart in London. Notable world championship events that will be over by the time the Beer Mile World Classic rolls around include the 3,000m steeplechase, the 10,000m, and the women’s 1,500m.

The world classic is expected to be streamed live online.

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