Beating Halloween by eight days, the 8th annual Beer Mile World Classic (BMWC) happened last Saturday, October 23, 2021 on a 400-meter track at Leigh Sports Village near Manchester, England, under a portentous blanket of clouds. As expected, the gut-defying results were downright scary.
“What’s your confidence level going into today?” Canada’s Corey Bellemore was asked just before the cult classic one-mile race—which requires runners to chug a 12-ounce beer leading into each of the four laps.
“Pretty good,” said the two-time champion and world record holder from Windsor, Ontario, who in 2017 completed the circuit in an unfathomable 4:33 (that’s with drinking four beers). That time was good enough to shave his prior world record set the year before by a full second. “Yesterday was a long travel day, so I’m just happy to be at the track ready to run and take that big cup back. It’ll be stiff competition,” Bellemore added. “We’ll see what happens.”
So What Happened?
What happened (spoiler alert if you decide to watch the occasionally stomach-churning footage) was pretty sick—in all senses.
Two heats of male competitors and one heat of female runners—mainly from the UK, Scandinavia, Canada and U.S.A. chugged and dashed their way around the oval like suds-swilling Olympians, vying for the Kingston Cup and Queens Cup respectively.
Yes, there were some “reversals” along the way. We’ll let you take a millisecond to translate that official BMWC euphemism.
Barfing during the race will cost any competitor an additional penalty lap afterwards.
Two Champions Chugging It Out
The tightest grudge match of the event was between Bellemore and U.S.A.’s Chris Robertson, last year’s champion and a BMWC co-founder. Neck and neck for most of the race, Bellemore turned out a world record-shattering time of 4:28. Robertson arrived at the finish line in 2nd place at an only slightly less insane 4:40.
Team U.S.A.’s world champion Allison Morgan won the women’s title for the third consecutive year with a stunning time of 6:32.
“I’m happy to go sub-4:30,” said Bellemore after the race. “There’s still room for improvement, but this has been a long time coming,” he added, referencing a disqualified win (and would-be world record) in 2018 after leaving half an ounce too much foam in his emptied beer. The backwash limit is 4 ounces.
“Your chugs were right on point,” Bellemore assured Robertson afterwards, who’d been on Bellemore’s heels the whole time. “I thought I was having good chugs—but you pushed me the whole way.”
In the team category, the U.S. runners defended their men’s and women’s national titles based on collective points respectively.
For more information about the Beer Mile World Championship, a list of rules, and a brief disclaimer about irresponsible behavior (“Don’t try a beer mile if it’s not legal where you are, if you’re underage, or if you’re not fit for it … Don’t be an idiot.”) visit beermile.com.
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