Friday August 7th, 2015

The competition for the beer mile world record has been fierce over the last year or so and now there may be a new champion in the world's premier test of drinking and running ability.

Josh Harris, 25, posted a time of 4:56.2, which will be a new world record if it is accepted by the race’s official governing body, BeerMile.com.

The beer mile calls for a runner to drink beer for every lap on a 400-meter track for a mile. The beer must be 5.0 or higher in alcohol concentration and chugged from a 12 ounce can or bottle that has not been altered. Four beers consumed for four laps. No vomiting permitted.

Harris spoke to SI.com about his training for his record-breaking run, which involves both intense running and chugging. For his world record, Harris drank four bottles of Cooper's 62 Pilsner beers, which are 5.0 alcohol by volume.

"It's something I've been working on for a few weeks now. Training has included 3 shorter interval sessions (200-400m) with beer recovery in the final set. I've also been drinking one beer per night at top speed, and on a Sunday after my long run, eating as much food as I can with a beer to finish once I'm close to puking."

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The Australian athlete said he plans to represent his country at the Beer Mile World Classic event in San Francisco later this month, where he believes he can set an even faster time. Not just an average Joe, Harris has represented Australia internationally at the World University Games, where he ran a half-marathon personal best of 69:54.

Harris ran his first beer mile in 8:22 at 18, legal drinking age in Australia, while participating in a camping trip in Northern Tasmania. Since then, Harris says he estimates that he has run about 25 beer miles.

The previous world record was held by James (The Beast) Nielsen who broke the five-minute beer mile barrier with a time of 4:57 in May of last year. Australian James Hansen, 21, ran 4:56.25 earlier in the year but has yet to be ratified as the world record due to controversy that his final beer was not entirely finished.

Harris had previously held the record with a 5:02.5 run in 2012, and says he is happy to have the title back.

- Chris Chavez and Brendan Maloy

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