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Beer Mile World Classic goes virtual with $8,000 prize purse

The world's best beer milers will still get a chance to compete this year

The Beer Mile World Classic (BMWC) has been growing in popularity over the last few years. What used to be just a fun thing for some friends to do has become a serious event with some amazing runners competing in races worldwide. As of 2020, the BMWC has been hosted in several big cities across the globe, including London, Berlin and Vancouver. This year’s race will be a bit different, but COVID-19 has not put an end to the 2020 BMWC, which organizers announced will be a virtual event open to runners everywhere with a prize purse of $8,000.

What is a beer mile?

A beer mile is an event that requires speed, endurance and chugging abilities. Athletes start the race by drinking a 355 ml beer (with minimum five per cent alcohol) as quickly as possible. Once finished, they run a lap of a 400m track. Every new lap, they drink another beer, and in the end, they will have chugged four beers and run at least a mile (runners who throw up before completing the mile must run an extra penalty lap).

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Who’s in for 2020?

Canada’s Corey Bellemore—beer mile world record-holder with a personal best of 4:33.6 and winner of the 2016 and 2019 BMWCs—has confirmed that he will compete in the 2020 virtual event. Bellemore is also a sub-four-minute miler (in the regular, sober mile) and a medallist at the Canadian Championships in the 1,500m.

Other runners confirmed to race the men’s event are U.S. beer mile record-holder Chris Robertson, former world record-holder Josh Harris of Australia and Canadians Corey Gallagher (another former beer mile world record-holder) and Phil Parrot-Migas.

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On the women’s side, 2019 BMWC champion Alison Grace Morgan of the U.S. will return to defend her title alongside Bellemore. Canadian and former Queen’s University runner Lianne Girard will compete and also look to lower her Canadian record of 6:42. Girard will be joined by fellow Canadian Katie Anderson, the BMWC bronze medallist from 2019. 

Canadian Corey Gallagher heads down the straight away trailed closely by Australian Jack Colreavy at the Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas. Photo: Josh Baker, Flocasts.

Prize purse

The $8,000 prize purse will be divided equally among men and women competitors, with the top five runners in each gender winning money. First place wins $500 down to $100 for fifth place. Masters athletes can earn prize money as well, and there are bonus winnings available for runners who break the world record, men who go sub-4:30 and women who go sub-6:00. 

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How to enter

Competitors must film their runs, and they have from June 21 to 27 to film and submit their videos to event organizers. On July 4, the top 10 finishes will be broadcast online. For more information on prize distribution and race rules, head to the BMWC website so you know exactly what to do on your race day.