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Beer mile championship makes history

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Cory Gallagher celebrates his victory. Photo via Flotrack.

Cory Gallagher celebrates his victory / Flotrack

This week, I watched beer mile history streaming in real time on my iPhone.

Olympians competed in the 4-laps, 4-beer race and records were broken at Flotrack’s inaugural Beer Mile Championship in Austin.

Elizabeth Herndon won the women’s elite race with a time of 6:17.76, breaking the world record by nearly 11 seconds. Canadian Corey Gallagher won the men’s race with a personal best of 5:00.23, missing the world record by 2 seconds.

The elite field included Olympic athlete Nick Symmonds, previous women’s world record holder Chris Kimbrough and Team USA mid-distance runner Katie Mackey, among others.

The event also featured a specialty Beer Mile Brew, courtesy of Austin brewery Hops & Grain.

As I’ve written before, the beer mile has officially entered the popular lexicon, gaining major coverage from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Now it has taken the next step in its evolution from underground antics to mainstream sport.

With the championship, spectators could watch live — complete with announcer commentary — as elite-level athletes competed in front of a crowd for bragging rights and a cash payday.

The livestream was made possible by Flocasts, which focuses on “untapped sports markets historically neglected by traditional media,” including running, wresting and gymnastics.

It seemed to work. I followed the #beermile hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and saw spectators posting pictures of the beer they were drinking in front of their laptops, with the races unfolding in real time.

“Flocasts is about elevating our sports by creating celebrities and Super Bowls in their own right,” said Mark Floreani, co-founder of Flocasts.

And the beer mile just found its Super Bowl moment.


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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