Windsor, Ont. native Corey Bellemore took the beer mile to a whole other level on Thursday by improving the world record by almost eight seconds. It was just the 21-year-old’s third-ever attempt at the four-beer, four lap race. Bellemore ran 4:39.56 at St. Joseph’s High School lowering fellow Canadian Lewis Kent’s mark of 4:47.17 from 2015.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” says Bellemore. “I knew I was a solid runner and I had run 5:27 two years ago so I thought I could go sub-5:00. I’m fit having just finished track season so the 60-second opening lap didn’t feel too fast. All the boys wanted me to try it to see what I could run.”
Bellemore, who has run 1:47 for 800m and 3:43 for 1,500m, drank Kingfisher because one of his friend’s went to the Beer Store, Ontario’s chain for selling beer, and asked for a brand that was five per cent alcohol and 355 mL. Those two factors meet the minimum for a beer mile.
Kingfisher Premium Lager is an Indian beer, described as a “pale amber with a crisp and light flavour,” made in New York. He had never tried Kingfisher before the race and needed to run the race with a bottle opener.
“I remember giving my friend heck because I wanted to twist-offs,” says Bellemore. The four beers were warm because they had been sitting in the friend’s car for much of the day. He did not do any beer mile-specific training before Thursday though he sometimes “chugs a litre of water” for no particular reason.
What’s unique about Bellemore is that he’s an elite middle-distance runner with world-class chugging ability. Kent, who is sponsored by Brooks and has made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (video), is more than 15 seconds slower than Bellemore over a flat-out 1,500m.
The incredible performance earned him a spot on Canada’s beer mile team for the beer mile world classic on Sunday. And while the entire team is currently in England, Bellemore will fly out tonight from Toronto, a four-hour drive from Windsor. He says that some competitors have made special requests for him to “bubble wrap” extra beers so they can run with the world’s fastest beer.
Allianz Park in London is the site of the second annual beer mile world classic.
Bellemore worked 11 hours on Thursday before heading to the local track to run the solo time trial. He began the day working with kids, aged six to 13, at a camp at the University of Windsor then did a shift at Running Factory. He needed to have two shifts covered at the local running store because he will be away until Monday. He wore a Running Factory t-shirt for the record-breaking run.
When the camp kids are asking what kind of world record Corey set ????
— Caitlin McClurkin (@caitmcclurkin) July 29, 2016
Fortunately, co-workers at the running store know what a beer mile is so he didn’t have to explain that he’s going overseas to run and drink beer. “They thought it was sweet,” says Bellemore when asked how the store’s employees reacted to him setting a record.
Friend and former teammate Nick Falk is also in London and will be running for Canada at the beer mile world classic on Sunday. Both Falk and Bellemore are late entries to the event though Bellemore didn’t know he was going to run until Friday morning. He woke up to hundreds of messages from old high school friends and current teammates after his unofficial world record.
“I used to think of the beer mile as an off-season thing” says Bellemore. “I’m going to England to enjoy the experience and don’t yet know how specific I’ll get with the beer mile.”
Full race video
Beermile.com needs to verify the race for the time to be ratified.