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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 (4:34.35)
Who: The men's beer mile is the deepest field ever assembled at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships. Led by a showdown between world record-holder Corey Bellemore, defending champion Lewis Kent and 2014 champion Corey Gallagher, the men's beer mile is poised to showcase a field of 11 athletes with sub-5:08 talent.
Bellemore shattered the record books last summer when he ran 4:39 in a time trial and 4:34 just four days later to claim the Beer Mile World Classic crown in London. The previous record was held by Kent who ran 4:47 on his way to winning the 2015 Beer Mile World Championships. Bellemore's mark is currently No. 1 on the BeerMile.com all-time list and is 13 seconds faster than Kent's previous record. Saturday will mark Bellemore's first FloTrack Beer Mile World Championship.
Bellemore recently signed an endorsement deal with adidas, becoming the second beer miler to be under a professional contract. The University of Windsor athlete is also an accomplished runner sans beer chugging. In 2015, he claimed the Canadian national championship in the 800m and posted a personal best of 1:47.68.
Kent is returning to compete in his third FloTrack Beer Mile World Championship after winning last year's title in a stunning kick against 2014 champion Gallagher. Both runners used the competition to blast massive personal bests in front of a roaring crowd.
Last year, Kent became the first beer miler under a professional contract when Brooks Running signed him in November 2015. Two days before the 2015 world championships, Kent appeared on the Ellen Show where he won Ellen's beer mile race. From Los Angeles, Kent flew to Austin where he won his first beer mile world title. Since turning pro and becoming a world champion, Kent has been completing his studies at the University of Western Ontario while simultaneously building a market for the beer mile with the help of his agent Kris Mychasiw. Kent is now working with several companies including SOS Rehydrate, Beau's Brewery and Run Gum. Brooks also renewed his contract to a multi-year deal and even designed the first ever beer mile racing flats, which Kent will wear during Saturday's race.
Kent has been hard at work practicing his beer chugging as seen from the video posted on Twitter by ESPN's Darren Rovell.
Although his all-time best is 13 seconds slower than Bellemore's record, Kent maintains that the many factors of the beer mile can leave the race wide open to anyone.
"If you're not Jim Finlayson (former world record-holder), anyone can have a bad day in the beer mile," Kent said. "I really thought I couldn't have a bad day, and this summer in London my stomach was not on. I couldn't burp for the life of me. So while it may seem unlikely, anyone can have a bad day stomach-wise, and that's what makes the beer mile great.
"You have to be mentally there, physically there, but your stomach also needs to be having a good day. I'll stick to my race plan and run as hard as I can. If [Bellemore] happens to have an off day, maybe I can sneak in there."
Gallagher returns to Austin after shattering his previous personal best at last year's championship. He ran 4:48.62 on his way to finishing second to Kent. According to BeerMile.com, his performance from last December is his most recent competitive beer mile.
Gallagher exploded on the scene when he won the first ever FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships in 2014.
This year, Gallagher will be rocking some slick Nike gear designed specifically for the beer miler. The Manitoba, Canada native shared a photo of his racing singlet and gear on Twitter this week.
Including Bellemore, Kent and Gallagher, seven competitors with sub-five personal bests will toe the line on Saturday. Garrett Cullen, Philippe Parrot-Migas, Josh Harris, Chris Robertson, Brian Anderson, Michael Johnson, and Michael Cunningham will complete the field set to throw down at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships.
Here's the full elite field:
|Athlete||Beer Mile PR||All-Time Rank||Hometown||Country||Age||2015 Worlds||2014 Worlds||Mile PR|
|Corey Bellemore||4:34.35||1||Canada||did not run||did not run||4:00* (converted 1500-3:43)|
|Lewis Kent||4:47.17||2||London, Ontario||Canada||22||1||5||4:18* (converted 1500-3:59)|
|Corey Gallagher||4:48.62||5||Winnipeg, Manitoba||Canada||2||1||4:22* (coverted 1500-4:03)|
|Garrett Cullen||4:54.5||6||Mountain View, CA||USA||24||10||did not run|
|Philippe Parrot-Migas||4:55.53||7||Canada||Canada||9||did not run|
|Josh Harris||4:56.2||9||Australia||Australia||did not run||did not run|
|Chris Robertson||5:02.0||12||Iowa||USA||6||did not run|
|Brian Anderson||5:05.2||13||Bloomington, MN||USA||25||did not run||4||4:23|
|Michael Johnson||5:06.0||14||California||USA||27||3||did not run||4:25|
|Michael Cunningham||5:07.9||15||New York, NY||USA||26||5||2||3:59* (road mile)|
WATCH THE FLOTRACK BEER MILE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17!