|Contributed/Josh Baker Winnipeg’s Corey Gallagher heads down the straight away trailed closely by Australian Jack Colreavy at the Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, TX Wednesday.|
Long distance runner Corey Gallagher, 27, brought home the blue ribbon at the first ever Beer Mile Championship in Austin, Texas Wednesday night.
The contest sees runners pound four beers during a one-mile race. Starting with one before the race starts, runners then stop for three more quick ones every quarter-mile of the contest. Anyone who vomits is forced to take an extra lap.
“It’s not so much about going out there and getting drunk or just hammering these beers to see who can drink them the fastest and who can get drunk,” explained Gallagher from Texas Thursday, calling the race more of an endurance contest to see who can perform the best while battling the disadvantages brought on by a few cold ones. “The second you put the beer in there you’re burping, it’s carbonated, it starts foaming up.
“We use the beer because it’s such an unknown factor of how everybody is going to handle it.”
Gallagher, who has won the Manitoba Marathon’s half marathon twice, said the sudsy sport has been an “underground event” runners have been taking part in for years, and this week’s world championships marks it’s mainstream debut.
He’s been doing it for about ten years, and in that time has trimmed his time down to a level that put him among the favourites to win in Austin.
In the end he edged out his closest competitor, American Michael Cunningham, with a final time of 5:00:23, just shy of the world record of 4:57.
His secret, he said, is an ability to drink an entire beer within a single breath, a skill he’s mastered by practicing with empty beer bottles filled with water. Gallagher’s best chugging time during Wednesday’s race was just under six seconds.
“It hurts like heck, and you feel almost oxygen deprived, but you gotta do it,” he laughed.
Gallagher had hoped to break the world record at the event, and said he plans to head back next year to defend his title and take another crack at the record.