It turns out, you CAN get paid to drink beer… as long as you’re the fastest runner in the world.
Meet Lewis Kent, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Western Ontario, who just set the world record for the “beer mile,” earning a place at the world championships and landing a nice endorsement from Brooks, a running shoe company.
The beer mile, for those who aren’t familiar, is a race that consists of running four laps around a track and chugging a full beer before each. Lewis, who is a member of his school’s cross country and track & field teams, previously set the record back in August at the Beer Mile World Classic in San Francisco at 4:55, then broke it again on Tuesday, running on a track in London, Ontario at 4:51.
Now, he’s prepping to compete in the World Championships in Austin, Texas on December 1st. He’s also earned the first mainstream endorsement for the sport and will be wearing all Brooks attire during the event.
“I’d say I’m a mediocre collegiate runner, which is why this is so crazy,” Lewis tells Ellen’s Good News. "Last year, I ran faster than an Olympian in the beer mile – 30 seconds faster. Yet, in a regular mile, he beat me by 25 seconds.”
Of course, there’s definitely work that goes into being the best at the beer mile. Lewis says he eats “massive meals” to expand his stomach and make room for all that ale.
"Sometimes I'll eat a massive pasta dish till I can’t eat anymore, or I did some research and determined that watermelon is really good for stretching out your stomach,” he explains.
The track star also goes out and practices running laps with beer (sometimes non-alcoholic if he’s got class the next day).
Lewis began running in 7th grade, realized he had a talent, and has worked his way up to college-level sports. He’s studying kinesiology, and wants to be a physical therapist when he graduates.
Little did he know he’d find fame and fortune in such a bizarre way.
"At first, when I told my parents I was doing this, they thought it was some silly, strange college event, but when I told them I was going to San Francisco and Texas, they were over the moon,” Lewis recalls. “My brother is even coming to Texas to watch me.”
He adds, "It’s just surreal."