Olympian Nick Symmonds finished seventh in the Beer Mile World Championships, drinking a beer and then running 400 meters four times in repetition in 5 minutes, 14.71 seconds, in Austin on Wednesday night.
Symmonds was one of the pre-race favorites, having previously run a beer mile in 5:19. He said he was slowed Wednesday by using a beer he had never tried before. The elite runners were allowed to choose their own beer for the event at the Circuit of the Americas, a track used for a Formula One race.
“It’s a very tasty brew,” Symmonds said in a Flotrack post-race interview while spitting foam. “I’d love to sit down and a have a pint, but for what we were doing tonight, I don’t think it was the ideal choice.”
Canadian Corey Gallagher, 27, won the men’s elite race in 5:00.23 (video here). In April, James Nielsen claimed to be the first man to break five minutes in the beer mile (video here). Nielsen did not run in the World Championships on Wednesday.
Symmonds’ splits Wednesday:
First beer: 7.69 seconds
After 400 meters: 1:14.26 (seventh place)
Second beer: 14.42 seconds
After 800 meters: 2:37.20 (sixth place — Symmonds’ 800 meters (non-beer) PR is 1:42.95)
Third beer: 13.56 seconds
After 1200 meters: 4:04.38 (sixth place)
Fourth beer: 18.76 seconds
Finish: 5:14.71 (seventh place)
“I’m not the best drinker, but I am the best runner,” Symmonds said in a Flotrack interview before the race. “I love drinking, and I love running. This event was made for me.”
Symmonds said this event was his last hurrah of 2014. He’ll take a few days off and then start preparing for 2015, with his primary focus on the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in the summer.
“I’m going to go out and have a couple more beers, find a cheeseburger,” said Symmonds, who finished fifth in the 2012 Olympic 800m and won silver at the 2013 World Championships. “Then I’ll take a couple days off and start focusing on my main goals.”
Elizabeth Herndon unofficially ran the fastest women’s beer mile ever to win the women’s elite race in 6:17.76.