Is the Beer Mile a legit pursuit?


The Beer Mile has gained notoriety in the past few years, rising out of fringe sport obscurity to a conversation piece, at the very least, in mainstream running culture.  Multiple respected and respectable sports publications have discussed the Beer Mile in feature articles: Outside MagazineRunner’s World, ESPN.  Nick Symmonds and Corey Gallagher did wonders for putting it on the map, when FloTrack announced a Beer Mile World Championship race to be held in Austin, TX in 2014.  As far as I can tell, there isn’t any great back-lash against serious, even professional, runners for taking on this challenge. Which begs the question, is it a legitimate pursuit, or just crazy-town?

Southwest Virginia, Roanoke in particular, is quickly becoming a hub for the outdoors-beer lover.  Mountains and trails abound, just a short distance from some pretty amazing local breweries.  A common weekend jaunt includes some time on the trails or the Greenway followed by a drink or two at Parkway Brewing or Soaring Ridge.  The kids can run around and play, we can all eat from a local food truck, and all seems right with the world.  Parkway Brewery and RunAbout Sports Roanoke even host a group running event, cheekily named “Body by Parkway.” If that’s not enough, there is a well established local hashing group that has long been combining a love of beer with a love of running.

As a lover of running and beer myself, the combination of both in a competitive atmosphere has piqued my interest.  The husband has added fuel to this fire by challenging me to a December 2015 Beer Mile.  He seems to think this may be his niche; his one shot to finally best me in a race.  He does have the upper hand on me in terms of size and relative tolerance. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little intimidated. It’s even more appealing because I’ll be done with my race calendar for the year, so it just might be the extreme spark of fun I need before heading into trail season in January 2016.

The great Bocanegra-Sale Beer Mile may or may not take place sometime the week before Christmas this winter.  For the past few years the husband has organized a basketball game with an assortment of friends that happened to be in town on Christmas Eve.  After becoming acquainted with the Beer Mile, he decided he’d test the waters to see who might be interested in turning the basketball game into a Beer Mile race. So far, it’s a two wo/man race, but recruitment efforts will no doubt increase as we approach the holidays. It may end up being a head-to-head race with a strong spectator cheering squad.

The trash talking in our household is fun-natured and is making the build up pretty exciting.  We’ve put a small wager on the race to make things interesting. For the first time, I’m at a loss for how to properly train.  I’m thinking this might be a good thing.

Any experienced beer-milers out there?  I’d love your take and/or advice on this fun-natured and fast approaching (is it November already?) challenge.

4 thoughts on “Is the Beer Mile a legit pursuit?

  1. I guess it’s just fun no matter what way you approach this challenge. I’m not sure how you should train for this, I guess running and drinking beers separately? I think you should only bring them together for the actual race as it might get messy.. sounds like a lot of fun.. 🙂

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