The FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships served as a bit of a “mental break” in the midst of Corey Bellemore’s exam schedule. The 22-year-old beer mile world record holder won Saturday’s world championships in 4:49, completing the two-race sweep of the global events.
It’s the unofficial “triple crown” in beer miling: Beer Mile World Classic champion, FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships winner and being the world record holder simultaneously.
Back in Windsor, Ont. since Sunday, Bellemore has since written two psychology exams following the running and drinking shenanigans on Saturday. “FloTrack treated us really well, it was an organized event and it was good to be there after watching the previous two years,” he says.
The men’s elite race
Watch the broadcast replay of the 2016 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championship Men's race. Corey Bellemore, Lewis Kent and more battle for $5,000 and the world title.
Posted by FloTrack on Saturday, December 17, 2016
The world championships were held in Austin, Texas for the third consecutive year and unlike more traditional beer miles, the event is held in a parking lot. A 400m loop is barricaded off and runners drink four 355 mL beers, one at the start of each lap, covering a total of 1,609m. “The course was slick,” he says of the time, 15 seconds off his world record. “I wasn’t ready for my first beer at the start and I slowed down quite a bit around the turns.”
Bellemore successfully brought his beer of choice, Kingfisher, an Indian brew, to the event without any damage to the goods in transit. “I took the case, stuffed it with paper towels, taped it up, put it in the bag, and hoped that they didn’t break,” he says. He did however forget a beer opener so he scrambled to find one the day before the race.
Bellemore won US$2,500 thanks to his 10-second victory over fellow Canadian and the defending champion Lewis Kent. He would have received an additional US$2,500 had he run faster than 4:34.35. “That money will be going to training camps in the summer and to travel to bigger competitions,” he says. “I tried not to put too much pressure on myself.”
The University of Windsor student says there has been a bit of push-back from some in the running scene because beer milers have been getting sponsorships from global brands. “I think it comes down to marketability,” he says noting the media attention that the event is getting right now. Bellemore, however, is a dual threat as he is one of Canada’s faster up-and-coming runners. A big part of his one-year endorsement deal hinged on his ability to grow as a track athlete.
@CoreyBellemore Thirsty for greatness /// Proud to have you running with the three stripes across your chest ?
— adidas Running (@adidasrunning) December 20, 2016
He says that Saturday’s beer mile had more exposure than the summer’s Beer Mile World Classic because it was in North America and there was a strong live audience. Notable attendees this year included Olympic 1,500m silver medallist Leo Manzano and two-time world champion Trey Hardee. It’s believed that Lance Armstrong was on site in 2015 but was unable to attend this year.
One of the first things Bellemore was greeted with in Austin was an abundance of Adidas gear waiting for him at the hotel. The 22-year-old who recently signed with Adidas wore the three stripes for the first time in a race on Saturday and filled his two carry on bags and two checked bags to the brim.
“There were eight or nine boxes of Adidas stuff waiting for me,” he recalls. “The guys [the remainder of Team Canada] opened all the stuff looking for a pair of Yeezys [an Adidas collaboration shoe with rapper Kanye West].”
With beer mile championships now done for 2016 and for the first half of 2017, Bellemore will be hitting the indoor track. Watch for the 22-year-old to open the new year at the Can Am Meet, a local Windsor competition, on Jan. 13-14.