Beer mile heard ’round the world

Beer Mile royalty Josh Harris

“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.

Melbourne University Athletics photo

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.

The video of the amazing feat has gone viral with nearly 40,000 views on YouTube and another 50,000 on You can watch it in its entirety here.

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.

Posted on Sunday, May 6th, 2012