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Get Ready to Stumble! Beer Mile World Classic Comes to San Francisco

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The most globally-watched competitive drinking event of all time will take place on Treasure Island Saturday, and you can compete in this historic contest. The ESPN-broadcasted Beer Mile World Classic on Saturday, August 22 pits the four athletes who’ve held the Beer Mile world record against one another for the first time ever on the same track. You too can register for the Beer Mile World Classic, with a chance to challenge their records in the Beer Mile — the boozebag track & field event that requires you to chug four beers while running the fastest mile possible without puking.

This is the first competitive drinking event ever being shown on television. ESPN will be there, and online sportsbooks are offering odds on who will win and whether any of the runners will puke during the race. You can play Fantasy Beer Mile and pick who you think will win. Or you can register for the race with a chance to shock the world and knock any of these elite drinkers from their world record perch.



I’m running this thing Saturday and I’ve been training all week. The rules are simple —  the starting gun sounds and you immediately have to pound an entire 12-ounce beer. You run a quarter-mile, then you stop and chug another whole beer. You run and chug another beer every quarter-mile until you’ve completed a mile. The current world record for this is 4 minutes, 55.78 seconds (Lewis Kent, Canada)

The stomach management is the hard part. The running is easy, you can run a quarter-mile without stopping no matter how out of shape you are. The alcohol part is easy, those four beers won’t hit you for another 10 or 15 minutes. But coping with all the carbonation in your stomach is the challenge. The key is to force yourself to burp as much as possible, otherwise you will puke (a penalty known as a “reversal of fortune” that will require you to run an extra lap).

I registered for Saturday’s run and they put me in the 40 & Older/More that 200 Pounds heat. That’s not for elite runners, but if you somehow break the world record in an earlier heat then it still counts and you win the event. There will also be beer stands, food stands and other entertainment. As a 44-year-old, I will receive a ‘senior discount’ on food and beers. Let’s see some applesauce with that Lagunitas IPA!


Saturday’s Beer Mile World Classic will settle a score in the competitive drinking community. Four different guys think they earned the world record, and they’ll meet head-to-head in direct competition Saturday for some ‘There can only be one’ kind of shit.

The Beer Mile had always been an inside hasher joke, but gained international prominence when James Nielsen broke the world record with a 4:57 Beer Mile on April 27 in Marin County. On August 7, Josh Harris (AUS) broke that record with a reported 4:56 Beer Mile. The very next day, Kent Lewis turned in a 4:55 Beer Mile. All of them will compete directly on a neutral track to decide the true Beer Mile champion on Saturday.

You can show up and watch the Beer Mile World Classic for free at at Treasure Island on Saturday, or you can register and compete. Early heats start at 3 p.m., the main event race is at 5:30 and free buses will drop you back off at 2nd and Folsom at the conclusion of that race.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.