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Beer Mile World Championships: Victoria man Jim Finlayson places 3rd

12/10/2014 08:53 EST | Updated 02/09/2015 05:59 EST
Victoria runner Jim Finlayson took third place at the first ever Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas this month, as 10 elite beer runners competed to chug four beers and run a mile the fastest.

The first documented Beer Mile races took place in the 1980s according to the championship's website. According to the rules, runners do four laps of a 400-metre or quarter-mile track, drinking a beer before each lap.

"You're trying to drink [the beer] as quickly as you can," 42-year-old Finlayson told On The Island's Gregor Craigie.

"Usually at the start of each lap there's a little bit of burping and just trying to absorb the liquid, but you maybe have five to 100 metres of that before it seems to settle into the system."

Four out of 10 of the runners vomited during the world championship race. Official beer mile rules usually dictate any runner that vomits has to run an extra penalty lap. In the World Championships, it led to immediately being disqualified.

Finlayson set a time of five minutes and 21 seconds at the Beer Mile World Championships, drinking Bud Light Platinum and Hops & Grain Beer Mile Brew.

Currently ranked the fifth fastest beer mile runner in the world, Finlayson said he hasn't had problems keeping the beer down. For him, the difficult part is getting it in when he gets to the second of third lap.

"We're actually trying to catch our breath after a hard lap of running," he said.

Finlayson regularly runs more conventional races, including the Victoria Marathon, and admits running a Beer Mile is an unusual sport.

But, he said, the World Championships are operated with a similar rigour to other professional sporting events.

"When the gun goes off, we are serious about it as well. However, I think every single one of us recognizes that it's a fun event."

To hear more from Jim Finlayson and about Beer Mile running, click the audio clip labelled: Victoria's Jim Finlayson 3rd in Beer Mile World Championships

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