Corey Bellemore is one of those guys who just might have a super power. For one, he's extraordinarily fast. The 21-year-old Canadian is the two-time national champ in the 800-meter and finished fourth at the Canadian Olympic trials this year, just 1.7 seconds off the Olympic Standard time. But Bellemore's real gift comes when he combines that world-class speed with his world-class ability to drink beer. That's what he did to set the Beer Mile world record twice in one week this summer.
The Beer Mile is the popular event in which runner drink four beers (minimum 5% alcohol and 355 mL) while running four laps around a standard track. Bellemore tried it on a whim in July and completed the race in 4 minutes, 39 seconds—a mile time that's impressive even before you consider he had to chug four cold ones along the way. He shattered the previous mark of 4:47 and earned an invite to an official meet in London where he set the record again at 4:34. We caught up with Bellemore to learn how he discovered his talent, his training regiment, and his plans for his running career.
How did you start running the Beer Mile? How many times have you attempted it?
I have actually only done four beer miles in my life—two in 2014 and two this year. It all began after our varsity season of Cross Country in 2014 where during our rest week we decided it would be a good time to try one out as a team. We headed to a local track at night and did one for fun. It's not the most enjoyable feeling running with beer in your stomach, but I figured out it was something I could do well. This year a friend came over with a few beers to see how fast I could actually go if I took it semi-seriously. I had worked an 11-hour day so I was exactly "feeling it" but I decided to give it a shot. We taped it and I ended up breaking the world record by 8 seconds. There was a meet in London, England called the "Beer Mile World Classic" the following weekend, and the next morning I woke up to a few messages from the meet directors. They ended up flying me out to England that night. I stayed in England for 50 hours and broke the world record again by 4 seconds against a stacked field. The amount of media attention that received blew my mind because it was all supposed to be for fun.
How do you train?
I don't specifically train for the beer mile, I am a serious runner that can chug a beer well and hold it down even better. The closest thing to training I do is run on a full stomach from time to time and randomly chug a glass of water at home when I'm thirsty.
Beer Milers run four laps around a standard track and chug a beer after every lap
What’s harder? The running or the chugging?
For me, the chugging is much harder than the running. I've been training for years as a serious track athlete so that part is easier to me but the pace is still very quick. It's extremely difficult to chug as fast as you can while you're out of breath, especially when it's beer you're chugging.
What’s your Beer Mile brew of choice?
The last two beer miles I've done I have found great success using the beer Kingfisher. I find it an easy beer to get down because it is smooth and light. The only negative about this beer is it's 'pop top' meaning I have to run with a bottle opener the entire race. In the future I may have my own brew of beer to use but you'll have to wait to hear any more news on that.
Follow Corey Bellemore on Instagram at @coreybellemore
What’s your favorite beer when you’re not running?
It depends on the day. I am a big fan of a few Canadian craft beer companies like Steam Whistle Brewery, Granville Island Brewery, Beau's Brewery and Mill Street Brewery.
What advice can you offer for people who want to run a Beer Mile?
Advice I can offer to people who want to try a beer mile is to first make sure you're following the rules which can be found on beermile.com. I'd also say if you want to be good at it you need to learn how to open your throat when you're chugging and have to be fairly fit in order to do the running part of it. The basics are: the beer has to be 5.0% alcohol and 355ml, you start off with chugging a beer then run a lap and you do that four times in total.
When’s your next event?
I will have to take a break from the beer mile as I have to focus solely on my varsity running at the University of Windsor in Canada. We have one of the best track programs in the nation so it is important for me to represent them as best as I can.
What’s your go-to hangover cure?
My go-to hangover cure would be a McDonald's breakfast with an OJ and banana. Usually I like to stay up and ensure I drank enough water and had enough to eat before I sleep so I can avoid the hangover altogether.
Ed. Note: If running while drinking isn’t your thing (we can’t say we blame ya), try saving the beer for shower.