“Can you call out our splits?”
This is one of the first voices you hear in a video made by the Melbourne University Track Club as the camera pans across a field running the beer mile. This was the third of four rounds in Australia’s National Beer Mile Series.
That voice belongs to Josh Harris, a 21-year-old University of Tasmania runner. From the beginning, it’s clear he means business.
Drinking a cheap 5% ABV Australian beer called Maxx Dry, Harris downs his first bottle in six seconds and immediately opens up a gap on his competition.
Harris finishes his first lap in 72 seconds, meaning he ran an impressive 66 second 400 after chugging a beer.
He finishes his second beer in another six seconds then actually starts chugging in negative splits. He dispatches his third beer in five seconds and finishes his final bottle in a mind-boggling four seconds.
Harris flies through his last lap and crosses the finish line at 5:02, crushing the official beer mile world record of 5:09 and his own PR of 5:16.
The record has been dubbed “unofficial” — beer must be in cans, according to the beer mile governing body’s official rules— but Harris has vowed to go for a sub-5 official record soon.
Harris is a veteran of several beer mile races and also has training running a 4:58 chocolate milk mile. He has plenty of running accomplishments – including running for the Australian national cross country team – but on his Twitter account his 5:02 beer mile is the first one listed.
What do you think? Can Harris break the 5 minute barrier and become the Roger Bannister of the beer mile?
EDIT: Bottles can in fact be substituted for cans, but the bottle needs to be tipped over the runner’s head after it is finished.