Women's Beer Mile World Championships Preview: The Race For Sub-6:00 Is On

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What: 2016 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships

When:
Saturday, December 17 beginning at 12:30 PM Central

Where:
The Austin American-Statesman

Prize money
: $2500 for the win, $2500 for the world record (6:08.0)

Who:
The question for this race is, what type of running and chugging shape is defending champion Erin O'Mara in? She destroyed the field a year ago, setting a new world record of 6:08.0, 18 seconds ahead of the next finisher. (Andrea Fisher's 6:26 mark was eventually disqualified.)

O'Mara told FloTrack last week that her running was "too little, too late." If that means she trained as inadequately as she did last year, then she's probably still the favorite. But if O'Mara has gotten worse at either, though, then it should be a battle between her and Andrea Fisher and Chris Kimbrough. Fisher, 44, and Kimbrough, 47, are stalwarts of the beer mile scene.

Both live in Austin, and both have crossed the line in the same place at both FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships. Kimbrough has been fourth twice, while Fisher finished second in 2014 and 2015 but was eventually disqualified last year.

(Rules primer: athletes drink a 12-ounce beer before each quarter-mile lap; they must chug the beer; the beer has to be at least 5% alcohol by volume; athletes can spill a maximum of 2 ounces per beer; and any vomiting is penalized with an extra lap.)

Fisher and Kimbrough both sport 6:28 beer mile PRs, making them the third- and fourth-fastest women in the history of the event. They're 20 seconds slower than O'Mara but 13 seconds faster than the rest of the field.

Here's the full elite field:
Athlete Beer Mile PR All-Time Rank Hometown Country Age 2015 Worlds 2014 Worlds Mile PR
Erin O'Mara 6:08.0 1 Michigan USA 1 did not run
Andrea Fisher 6:28.2 3 Austin, TX USA 44 DQ (2nd) 2 5:15
Chris Kimbrough 6:28.6 4 Austin, TX USA 47 4 4 Never Raced a Mile
Caitlin Batten (Judd) 6:41.0 7 South Carolina USA 30 did not run 10 5:15* (road mile)
Anne Belanger 6:50.78 11 Canada did not run did not run
Elizabeth Laseter 6:53.0 13 Charlotte, NC USA 26 5 8 5:08
Susie Rivard 7:01.05 15 Portland, OR USA did not run did not run
Allison Morgan 6:46 Bend, OR USA did not run did not run

One dark horse to watch is Morgan, who is a serious distance runner with a sub-33:00 10K best and new to beer miling. She's done two informal beer miles, with the second coming in 6:46. She could steal the race this year if competition and experience leads her to cut a ton of time quickly.

With no sub-5:00 milers in the field, this race will come down to expert chugging. Two to watch outside of the elite race are 82-year-old Elvira Montez and 26-year-old Taylor Dutch. Montez ran 20:24 last year and beat her 47-year-old daughter, while Dutch inhaled a beer in roughly four seconds and ran an integral leg for last year's 4x400m runners-up.


WATCH THE FLOTRACK BEER MILE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17!

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