Lewis Kent runs and drinks beer – for money! Some people have all the luck
GETTING PAID TO drink beer sounds like a dream job. But Lewis Kent, the world's first professional beer-miler, who is sponsored by running-shoe giant Brooks, also has to know his way around a running track – and fast.
The 23-year-old Canadian pays his bills by knocking back 355ml (minimum) of five per cent ABV lager, running 400m, then repeating this three times, in extremely rapid succession.
What started as a way for collegiate track teams to blow off end-of-season steam has now become a legitimate sport, with shoe sponsorships up for grabs, races worldwide and an annual championships.
To qualify for the first championship event in 2014, Lewis studied the physics of chugging – pouring beer after beer into the sink in search of the least-gassy angle. That year, he ran 5:32.58 to place fifth, two spots ahead of Olympian Nick Symmonds. The following year, he fine-tuned further and won – setting a new world record with a time of 4:47:17 (bettered last year by Adidas-backed Corey Bellemore, whose 4:34:35 record still stands as we go to press).
Lewis attributes his success to his athletic discipline and his harddrinking Scottish heritage. ‘It’s all about training hard and giving it what you’ve got, but at the same time not taking yourself too seriously,’ he says. He also swears by a piece of gear that Brooks does not supply: a gardening glove. ‘Sometimes bottle caps won’t twist off properly,’ he explains. The rubbery grip saves him wasting valuable seconds struggling to remove a stubborn cap.
His dedication to detail has paid off; Lewis is now the world leader in subfive-minute beer-miling.
Here’s how he breaks down the four beers and four laps for the best possible time.