At the inaugural Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas, Elizabeth Herndon set a new world record, while men’s champion Corey Gallagher came within .23 seconds of breaking the five-minute barrier.
Herndon, a 29-year-old professor from Fort Wayne, Indiana, chugged four beers and ran four 400-meter laps in 6:17.76, smashing the previous women’s mark of 6:28.6, set last month by then 44-year-old mother of six Chris Kimbrough.
In the men’s elite race, which included Olympian Nick Symmonds and sub-four-minute-miler Michael Cunningham, Gallagher, a 27-year-old mail carrier from Winnipeg, Manitoba, prevailed by drinking his final beer in 7.29 seconds and running a 61-second final lap. Although he failed to break the current beer mile world record of 4:57.0, Gallagher was awarded $2,500 for his victory. Official results can been found on Flotrack.org.
Conspicuously absent from the event was current world record holder James “The Beast” Nielsen, who remains the only human to have officially run a sub-five-minute beer mile.
Nielsen’s record has been subject to debate, however, and critics have been incredulous about the speed at which he purports to down a 12-ounce beer. His failure to attend in Austin will likely increase the call from skeptics for Nielsen to compete in an official race. (Nielsen set the record running by himself and discarded his beers in a trackside trashcan. Watch here.)
As a woozy Nick Symmonds said in post-race interview on Flotrack.org, “I put a challenge out to James Nielsen. Where are you, man? You claim to drink a beer in four seconds in your world record run, but I challenge anyone to pour a beer out of an unmodified can in four seconds.”