Beer Money

Lewis Kent runs and drinks beer – for money! Some peo­ple have all the luck

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

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.

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