Lewis Kent seems like a regular track and cross country runner, in his fourth year at university. What people all over the world are starting to discover now is the happy-go-lucky 21-year-old is also a really, really great beer miler runner. He can hold his drink and run really fast, at the same time.
On Nov. 17, Lewis set his second beer mile world record of the year with a time of 4:51.9. A sub-5 minute beer mile, that consists of drinking one beer before each the mile’s four laps on the track, is no small feat. With all of the attention from not only the beer mile community but runners and the media at large on Lewis’ new world record, we’re excited to share news of our ongoing partnership between Lewis and Brooks Running Canada. Lewis is Brooks’ first runner to receive a sponsorship for their beer mile prowess, inspiring people to look at running in new way, even if it means adding some beer.
“Lewis is not only great at running the beer mile, he brings a lot of passionate and excitement to his training and racing, which is important for us at Brooks,” says Jenine LaFayette, the marketing manager for Brooks Running in Canada. “He takes his running seriously, but doesn’t take himself too seriously, similar to us on the Brooks brand.”
Here’s what Lewis Kent to get the full story on him and the burgeoning community around the beer mile.
What is the beer mile?
“It’s a race where someone runs 4 laps of a 400 metre track and drinks 4 beers total – one beer before each lap. Chug, run, chug, run, chug, run, chug, run. That’s pretty much it. Beers have to be 5% alcohol, 12 oz. (355ml) can or bottle. BeerMile.com is sort of the governing body that outlines rules and where videos for records are verified.”
When did you catch the Beer Mile bug?
“Last year is when it started to take off for me. I just came off of a cross country injury and had some time before my track season started. I used that time to train for the beer mile. I was also motived to go to Austin, Texas, for the first FloTrack Beer Mile Championships, which I did last year. I won the Beer Mile World Classic in San Francisco earlier this year.”
How do you train for a World Record Beer Mile?
“It’s a lot of beers and a lot of miles! I use some of my training from track like intervals and training specifically for the beer drinking part of the beer mile, like adding beer to my intervals. There’s a ton of technique involved in drinking that much beer quickly. And I also work on stomach expansion strategies. I have some non-alcoholic beer, especially for weeknights, so I can work on the beer mile without getting massively drunk.”
What does your family think about it?
“At first they didn’t know what to think, but once they started to see how legitimate it was, they were completely supportive. They are my biggest fans. My brother will be joining me in Austin for this year’s FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships on Dec. 1.”
How did the sponsorship with Brooks Canada come up?
“I had a really great meeting with the Brooks team in Canada that was setup by my agent and I knew going in that it would be a perfect fit. We started working together in October but we wanted to wait for the right time to make an announcement before my next major event. The world record run was a great opportunity. Brooks is all about Run Happy, which connects with my personality perfectly. It’s great to have the support of a brand that is all about the lifestyle of the run but also doesn’t take itself too seriously – like me.”
We hear there’s a bit of a rivalry in the Beer Mile community. What can we expect at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships?
“For sure, there’s some trash talking with the fast guys in the beer mile. It doesn’t faze me. In Austin, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I’m doing whatever it takes to win – maybe another World Record.”
What’s next for you?
“FloTrack Beer Mile Championships in December, then the Beer Mile World Classic in 2016. The beer mile has really taken off and I’m being open to opportunities that come my way. A lot of people are talking about new events for 2016 – maybe a Canadian championship or more international events. I definitely want to continue running and drinking beer – hopefully at the same time.”
Join the Brooks team as we cheer on Lewis Kent in the FloTrack Beer Mile Championships on Dec 1. at 10:30 p.m. EST. Tune into the live broadcast on FloTrack.org and tweet with us using #FloBeerMile.
The beer mile has evolved significantly over the last few years, with its own set of rules. Beer mile athletes also acknowledge that to keep the energy around their sport, they need to drink responsibly. Lewis, in particular, has talked with his doctors about beer mile racing and training, and they have convinced both him and us that he is in great health.