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Beer mile busts 5-minute barrier

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10 years ago, I ran my first beer mile. It was awful.

I met up with a local Milwaukee-area chapter of a worldwide group called the Hash House Harriers. Official tagline: A drinking group with a running problem. It’s safe to say they aren’t mainstream.

I wanted to puke after completing the four-lap, four-beer, 1-mile race. At the time I had no idea that anyone else would ever want to try something so masochistic.

Against my better judgment, I’ve since then completed additional beer miles and whittled my time down to 6:26. I’ve even been quoted in Competitor magazine for my beer mile acumen.

Now Olympians and NCAA champions are getting into it.

The latest sensation is  Canadian James Nielsen, a two-time NCAA 5,000-meters champion, who shattered the world record with a 4:57 beer mile over the weekend while his wife documented it for YouTube. The video currently has 170,000 views and counting.

His feat was covered by Deadspin, Bleacher Report, Flotrack and countless other sites.

Previously, the beer mile went viral and made TMZ when former beer mile record holder and Olympian Nick Symmonds tried (but missed) breaking the 5 minute barrier.  Australian Josh Harris has also run an unofficial beer mile time of 5:02.

Given how this spread over the web, has the beer mile has official reached the tipping point of mainstream popularity? Agree or disagree? And if so, what’s the next frontier for the beer mile?

h/t everyone who tweeted, emailed or posted this on my Facebook wall

 

Author
Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.

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