Lewis Kent dreams of a Canadian beer mile championships. He thinks the beer mile could become the next Red Bull Crashed Ice.
Lewis Kent, a student at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., has become the talk of the running world having done interviews with TMZ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and the Ellen Show over the past week.
The reason: Kent, 21, signed a professional contract with Brooks after setting the world record (4:51.9) in the beer mile on Nov. 17. The event is one where athletes consume one beer, before running a lap of the track, four times over.
Kent, originally from Mississauga, Ont., will be running at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships on Dec. 1 in Austin, Texas and we spoke to him after his whirlwind of a week.
Canadian Running: How did the idea of attempting the world record on a Tuesday night come about?
Lewis Kent: I wanted to re-take the world record before heading to Texas since Corey Gallagher set the previous record earlier this year.
RELATED: 10 questions with Corey Gallagher.
CR: Have you ever had any issues with drinking beer at a public facility?
LK: Fortunately not, we typically find venues that are low-key so we’ve never run into issues. There’s also only a few track and field facilities that are spike-friendly in London so we try to run the races during off-peak hours and when there are not too many others around.
— Lewis Kent (@LewisKentMiler) November 20, 2015
CR: You’ve had interviews lately including one with ESPN business correspondent Darren Rovell. What was that experience like?
LK: Darren [Rovell] gave me a call and had no background on the sport whatsoever but he was so interested in the beer mile and its emergence as of late. He sees huge potential with beer sponsorships and professional contracts. He was also a bit shocked at how fast people can run a mile and drink four beers.
LK: I’ve been in talks with Amsterdam for a number of days following the world record. I talked to them prior about forming a partnership but now that the attention has grown even more, their interest in the sport has also risen. I’m hoping we can iron something out before I head to Texas.
CR: Where do you see the beer mile one year from now?
LK: I think it can become a niche market similar to Red Bull Crashed Ice where sponsors get involved and host. I’m hoping next summer there will be a Canadian championships too and it would be great if we could incorporate the event into a professional competition like the National Track League [a Canadian track and field series].
CR: Have you looked into unique strategies used by competitive eaters in order to perform better?
LK: Yeah, when I first started training for the event I looked into how professional eaters train. But now, all I usually do is eat a couple massive meals in the days leading up to it so that my stomach is elastic.
CR: Is it even possible to improve your drinking time? Or is your focus now on running?
LK: Each and every season I try to become a bit fitter. I’m still young, so each successive year I’m getting faster in terms of my running. I do think that there’s a limit to the drinking aspect. If you try to finish the beer any quicker, you may not finish it properly.
CR: Have any of the other Brooks athletes reached out to you to welcome you to the family?