The beer mile world classic is heading overseas as Allianz Park in London will host the second annual event on July 31. The defending men’s champion and world record holder Lewis Kent will be looking to keep his individual title.
Canada, the “Kenya of beer miles,” will be represented by two strong beer milers on the women’s side.
The beer mile is a 1,609-metre race, which is just over four laps of a standard 400m track, and involves drinking four 355 mL beers (with five per cent alcohol content) at the start of each lap. If a runner vomits, they must do a penalty lap at the end of the race, effectively making it 2,009 metres.
Canada’s team for the beer mile world classic
Men: Lewis Kent, Phil Parrot-Migas, Jim Finlayson, Jeff Mountjoy and John Markell.
Women: Lianne Girard and Anne Belanger.
Allianz Park will host the event after San Francisco was the site of the inaugural beer mile world classic in 2015. The other global beer mile race is the FloTrack beer mile world championships. Kent, a resident of London, Ont., set the beer mile world record of 4:47 at the FloTrack event in Austin, Texas. The women’s world record is 6:08 by American Erin O’Mara.
Allianz Park’s track was used a warmup facility during the 2012 London Olympics. Both global championships in 2015 were run on paved surfaces meaning that the July 31 venue could produce some of the fastest times ever run on a regulation track.
Beer milers from more than 10 countries will make the trip to London for the event. Kent is the defending champion having run 5:07 last year. Lianne Girard, who was sixth in 2015, is the top returning Canadian on the 2016 roster. Girard is ranked third all-time for Canadians in the beer mile, according to Beermile.com.
The Canadian men’s team features the world record holder, the fourth fastest beer miler ever Phil Parrot-Migas, beer two-mile world record holder Jim Finlayson, event pioneer John Markell and sub-5:15 runner Jeff Mountjoy. It’s believed that Corey Gallagher, the second fastest beer miler in history, will not run as he is battling injury.
Pre-beer mile world classic workout with Kent and Parrot-Migas
The beer mile has grown significantly since the first world championships in 2014. Kent became the first sponsored athlete as he signed a deal with Brooks last year. The University of Western graduate also made an appearance on Ellen (video here) after his victory at the 2015 FloTrack championships.
Highlights from the 2015 beer mile world classic in San Francisco
This Sunday’s event will feature races for all-comers and a lawn party in addition to the elite races. Threats to Canada’s dominance in the event will come from the Australian team and the American squad.
The elite races, women first followed by the men, will be run at 5 and 5:30 p.m. local time on July 31.