The 9th edition of the Beer Mile World Classic is on tap Saturday, July 1st, at Chicago's Hope Academy. The meet will be hosted by Chicago-based Beer Mile Media. Chris Robertson and his Beer Mile Podcast host Adam Shurson have added a beer festival, open beer mile heats, and a Celebrity NA Beer Mile heat to this year's program.
The open heats have sold out, but spectator tickets to the event are still available. This year's fields are the most competitive in meet (and world) history with $15,000 prize money on the line. The action will be live-streamed on the Beer Mile Media YouTube channel from 5:30 - 7:30pm CST on July 1.
World record alerts have been set for both the men's and women's races. Four-time World Classic champion Corey Bellemore has used the World Classic to set three world records in 2016, 2021, and 2022 (cans). He lowered the record from 4:47 in 2016 to 4:28 in 2021. The men's field also includes #2 all-time performer and meet host Chris Robertson, #3 all-time performer Lewis Kent, and former runner-up American Garrett Cullen. The Europeans are headlined by Markus Liwing of Sweden. Eleven men have broken 5 minutes all-time; this field includes six of them.
The Women's race looks to be an American fare. The Yanks have at least three legitimate women who can win and set the world record. The favorite heading into this year's championship is Elizabeth Laseter. Well clear of the field in the 2022 event, Laseter ran under Allison Grace Morgan's world record (6:16.5) but was disqualified for a chug zone penalty. Three-time champ and world record holder, Allison Grace Morgan, looks to recapture the title after a rough go with cans in Leuven last year; she's happy to have bottles as the vessel of choice. Chicago's own Melanie Pozdol will look to repeat as champion. England's Laura Riches is a wild card. She recently set the European record earlier this year but has been DQ'd or had reversals in multiple past championships.
The Kingston and Queen’s Cup titles for national teams will also be up for grabs. The men's Kingston Cup race is shaping up to be a two-team affair. The United Kingdom team shocked the World last year; their top two scorers (2022 rookies Joe Gebbie and Ritchie Gardiner) came outside of the faster heat. With the world on alert, the UK Team will have to beat a rejuvenated Team USA on their turf. Team USA is led by World #2 Chris Robertson and is buttressed by the return of Garrett Cullen, the emergence of Nordic skiers Finn O'Connell and Willson Moore, and a debut from sub-4 miler Jake Gillum.
The Women's Queen's Cup will likely be retained by Team USA. Morgan, Pozdol, and Laseter are all legitimate individual champion contenders, and USA #4, Kassandra Marin, has finished 3rd and 2nd in the last two editions of the World Classic. That said, the beer mile is unpredictable. It's not unthinkable that UK's Laura Riches and Polly Keen could lead a spirited challenge for the cup.
The Legends & Elites race will feature scoring members of National Teams, Beer Mile Legends, masters athletes, and a prominent American distance runner. Canadians Jim Finlayson and John Markell headline the Beer Mile Legends section. Markell is the World Classic co-founder and co-wrote the Kingston Rules, the official beer mile rule set since 1993. Finlayson previously held the world recrods for the Beer Mile and Beer Two-Mile.
Shelby Houlihan will return to action in this non-championship section. This is her first public competition since a 2021 doping ban before the Olympic Track and Field Trials. She is not eligible for the championship race this year as the World Classic works to develop a formal policy for athletes competing under suspension.
Sponsored by Athletic Brewing Company, America’s largest non-alcoholic craft brewery, the NA Celebrity Beer Mile will feature Catfish TV show host Nev Schulman, U.S. National Rugby Team member Carlin Isles, comedian Francis Ellis, sports media personality Darren Rovell, NFL analyst Cynthia Frelund, and world-class marathoner Ken Rideout.
Read the full preview of the Celebrity NA Beer Mile here.
Spectator tickets: Grab your tickets here
Live stream here: Watch the 2023 Beer Mile World Classic
Schedule and Heat Sheets: Heat Sheets
Results here: 2023 Beer Mile World Classic Results