When asked about it, Bellemore seemed pretty chill about the whole feat of chugging an inhuman amount of liquid and sprinting 1600 meters.
“It’s just as hard as any other race, you’re just adding a few more variables—beer, struggling with breath, this uncomfortable feeling in your stomach,” he told Men’s Health in an interview. “In any race, you just want to be done as quick as you can, and the beer mile is just like that.”
The rules of a beer mile state that you must finish four 12-ounce cans or bottles of 5.0 percent or higher ABV beer during the course of a mile, one before each lap. The beer must be completely finished during a 10-meter drinking portion of the track before you can start running again. That’s about it. And seeing as Bellemore’s personal best mile time is 3:42, not counting the 30 seconds or so of drinking, having four beers in his stomach only ads about 20 seconds to his time.
Don’t believe it? See for yourself, in this incredibly shot and incredibly announced video of the entire thing, which happened at halftime of a San Francisco Deltas soccer match.
Seeing as Bellemore is a legend, we asked him for a few running tips. The key for beginner runners, Bellemore said, is to ease into things (which is also great advice for any drinker). Start going for some short runs and walks, then build into two to three runs per week. Once you’re comfortable with that, move to five or six runs per week, and when that gets easy, play around with the distance.
Related:101 Tips for Your Best Run Ever
As for those beer-chugging skills, Bellemore said his talents come from early days of childhood sports, where he learned to open up his throat to chug as much water or Gatorade as possible in a short period of time. When college came around, he said, he found another use for those talents.
Still, he doesn’t do any specific training for the beer mile. “I just show up on race day and hope my stomach can handle it all,” he said.
Right now, Bellemore said he’s training for the Canadian Nationals in cross country later this month. When he’s not pounding Flying Monkey, Bellemore said he runs about 85 miles a week—so clearly, the added carbs in a few brews aren’t going to be a problem (for everyone else, here’s the best low-calorie light beers).
Can the beer mile champ break his own record once again? Bellemore says it’s possible.
“I think I can improve as a runner, but I don’t think I can improve much on the drinking time,” he said. While the beer mile is a fun calling card for a distance runner, Bellemore’s true talents are on the track, not at the bar.