‘ The first is like shooting a free throw in basketball – you should be able to get it down perfectly every time if you’ve practised,’ says Lewis. His beer of choice: Amsterdam Blonde, a Toronto craft brew in a beermile-approved 355ml bottle and a manageable five per cent ABV. The second beer feels much harder to get down, says Lewis, because it’s the first time you’re out of breath. Afterwards, he focuses on forcing a belch. Burps don’t always arise naturally this early in a race, but gaseous release makes the next lap much more comfortable. The penultimate chug poses the biggest mental challenge. Lewis prepares with short, hard repeats followed by guzzling non-alcoholic beer or fizzy drinks out of beer bottles. ‘ I practise so that no matter how breathless I am, you can hand me a bottle and I’ll be able to get it down,’ he says. ‘ The fourth one, I’m getting hungry for the finish line,’ says Lewis. He’s cut his final-chug split almost in half since 2014, getting down to just over eight seconds. One secret: stretching his stomach with a few huge meals of pasta or sushi, followed by chugs of water, two to three weeks beforehand.
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