The four-beer, four-lap phenomenon known as the beer mile has taken off in terms of popularity in the past two years. The event, founded in the 1990s by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., now has two global championship races and sponsored athletes who specialize in the running and drinking race.
As the founding nation, Canada has historically dominated the event. Four of the fastest seven men in history are Canadian including world record holder Corey Bellemore. Three of the nine fastest women are Canadian led by Kirsty Jahn.
The official resource for the event, Beermile.com, also lists a number of variations to the four-beer, four-lap race. Notable alternatives include a chocolate milk mile, the juggling beer mile and even a Rubik’s Cube mile.
Beermile.com even has the best-known times for many of the events so if you’re feeling adventurous, film away and submit the footage to have the time verified. Best known efforts are as of Sept. 5, 2016. Note that a “quarter” refers to a 400m lap in the explanations.
Alternatives to the traditional beer mile
The Beer 2-Mile (Eight beers, eight quarters)
Best known effort: 11:39.0. (Video here)
The 4-Lap Beer Steeplechase (Four beers, four quarters, 16 barriers, four water pits)
Best known effort: 8:52.0.
The 3,000m Vodka Steeplechase (Seven shots, standard 3K steeplechase)
Best known effort: 12:04.0.
The Soda/Pop Mile (standard beer mile, pop instead of beer)
Best known effort: 7:21.0.
The Chocolate-Milk Mile (48 oz. chocolate milk, four quarters)
Best known effort: 5:49.0.
The Egg and Milk Mile (Three eggs, 500 mL milk per lap)
Best known effort: 8:32.0.
The Rubik’s Cube Mile (solve a cube, quarter, cube, quarter, cube, quarter, cube, quarter)
Best known effort: 11:43.
The Joggling Beer Mile (run a beer mile while juggling)
Best known effort: 11:18.
The joggling beer mile has been done by by former Canadian Running editor Michal Kapral. The joggler, as he’s known, holds the world record for fastest marathon while juggling as well as other joggling records. See video of the juggling beer mile.
The Ben and Jerry’s 4×4 (4 pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream – 300+ calories/serving, 4 miles)
Best known effort: 1:06:55.
The T-Shirt Run (put on a T-shirt and run a quarter under 2 minutes)
Best known efforts: 50 laps/T-shirts.
Hot Sauce Mile
No known attempt.