Beer Mile World Championships unfold Saturday at Austin American-Statesman

Runners drink a 12-ounce beer before running the first lap around the course during the Beer Mile Championships on  Dec. 1, 2015. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Runners drink a 12-ounce beer before running the first lap around the course during the Beer Mile Championships on Dec. 1, 2015. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Chug a beer, run, repeat.

Master that and you’ll know how it feels to compete in the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships, taking place this Saturday in downtown Austin.

In 2014, the first-ever official beer mile race took place at Circuit of the Americas.

Long held unofficially, under cover of darkness at school tracks around the world, the Austin event featured professional meet standards, automatic timing and a $2,500 cash prize for winners. Runners came from as far away as Sweden and Australia to compete, and a Canadian postal carrier named Corey Gallagher sloshed away with the men’s elite trophy.

Last year the event moved to the parking lot of the Austin American-Statesman. Lewis Kent took down Gallagher’s record, running a beery impressive 4:47.17. On the woman’s side, Erin O’Mara notched a 6:08, 10 seconds faster than the existing record.

O’Mara will defend her championship this weekend, and Corey Bellemore, who has recorded a record-breaking 4:35.25 since last year’s race, will try to take the crown from Kent.

Andrea Fisher makes her way around the track during the 2015 Beer Mile Championships. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Andrea Fisher makes her way around the track during the 2015 Beer Mile Championships. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The 2016 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships starts at noon Saturday in the parking lot of the Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Avenue. (Yay me!) Admission is free.

Competitors will chug a 12-ounce beer, then sprint a lap around a 400-meter track. They’ll do it four times in rapid succession. Anyone who loses a beer has to take a penalty lap.

Divisions include two open heats, a sub-elite heat featuring runners who had to qualify to participate, a celebrity heat and elite heats for both men and women.

The event will feature a beer garden, food trucks, music and competitors ranging from elite runners to weekend warriors. Admission is free. The races will be streamed live here.

Think you’ve got what it takes to race? Register here.


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