Chugging beer is a pretty Canadian thing to do.
Downing four during a mile run? Turns out Canadians do that too.
The Beer Mile, a race in which participants drink a full beer before each lap of a mile run, owes some of its creation to Canadians. And until a few days ago, the fastest beer mile ever recorded was by a Canadian.
Unfortunately, like many things Canadians bring into the world (think hockey, basketball and Justin Bieber) we must let go of our claim eventually. Last weekend, California runner James Nielsen smashed the 5-minute barrier in the beer mile with a 4:57 clocking. The old world record of 5:07 was set by Jim Finlayson of Victoria B.C.
New record set! All-time Official World Record Performance: 4:57, San Francisco, CA, http://t.co/VaYWsTKan1— BeerMile.com (@beermile) April 30, 2014
Not to quibble, but Nielsen, an executive at streaming video giant UStream.tv in San Francisco, has Canadian roots. His mother was from Toronto according to some media reports. We’ll take it he inherited his beer drinking skills from her side of the family.
Nielsen, 34, was an accomplished runner, winning two NCAA Division III 5,000-metre titles during his collegiate career at University of California at San Diego and he later represented Canada at the world cross-country running championships.
Nielsen explained his run at beer mile immortality in very scientific detail in the YouTube video above.
For a beer mile record to be considered official, it must follow the Kingston Rules, that were originally drafted by runners at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. in the late 1980s.
In short, a runner must drink a beer from a can before each lap (no wide mouths or vented cans allowed), and the beer must contain at least 5% alcohol (no watered down U.S. suds here). The full list of rules can be viewed here.
In fact, Beermile.com contains detailed world rankings and performances from beer mile events all over the world. Josh Harris of Australia posted a 5:02 clocking in 2012, but it was considered unofficial because it did not follow the Kingston Rules. He drank his beer from bottles, which any Canadian would know is easier than sucking back from can.
The next step would be to petition the Canadian Olympic Committee to try and get this event included in a future Olympics.
Let’s face it, we’d own that podium.