The Kona Beer Mile | GTN’s Training Diary For Kona’s Toughest Challenge

By Brian Lemay 58 comments

(low-pitched whirring) (dramatic music) – Each year, under the measureless sky of Hawaii’s largest island,
there is a gathering of warriors unlike those we’ve ever observed before. Relinquished of stardom, promoted by bright desire and thirst. We, heroic gladiators, accustomed to grand acumen, will rise. And here, on this patch of scorched earth, do we find courage in unlikely places. (glass clinking) I’m doing this race, actually, because it’s a race that’s been on my radar for a very long time. When I was racing
professionally, obviously, didn’t really fit into the
yearly schedule very well, so now I’ve got the opportunity. I guess I could call
it a bucket list race. I got involved last year. Sampled the podium there,
got onto the third step just after a sprint
finish with Jesse Thomas. This year, I want that win. (soft piano music) The training for this
event is pretty unique. It is a lot of running, and
in this heat, it is hard. Luckily, I’ve had Fraser
out here to train with. Hopefully be able to ramp up a little bit over the course of two weeks. Racking up the runs out here, Fraser. – Run number three in two days! Second run for the day no less! Ran this morning, here we are again at five to six, about ten
minutes before sunset, which is possibly one of the best parts of the day in Hawaii. – And I’ve been turning those
runs into brick sessions, and making use of the garden. (soft piano) (waves lapping) That was good, that’s my
training for today done. Brilliant. And, well, I’ve actually gone for the can rather than the bottle. It’s pretty loose, this race. Some people go bottle, some people go can. As long as it’s the same amount. I find with a bottle, almost it, like, funnels back, and then you’re running for 200 meters and you can’t breathe. So I find the can a little bit better. I just go for standard, from the top, nothing fancy about it. No shotguns or anything. Yeah. It’s like, I just can’t do it. Yeah, I mean Kona beer mile training, or beer mile training is pretty unique. I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a shock to me and my partner, Cassie. She’s been fantastic through all of it, but you know, it’s a
slightly anti-social sport. There have been a few nights where I’ve come back quite
late after being in the pub. Conveniently, the pub’s just a couple of doors down from us, actually. But yeah, really getting some serious training in down there. And yeah, I mean, needless to say, it hasn’t gone down very well. Yeah, there’s been some
sacrifices this past year for us as a couple, but I’m pleased to finally be here, and all of that to be
paying off, hopefully. Preparing to do this event and sharing a house with the GTN team has presented some challenges. Sometimes I get support, but occasionally, it’s creating
some tension in the house. Mark, for (beep) sake. – Interesting point, there
is definitely some debris left on my bike that I didn’t put there. – [Cameraman] Is this happening a lot? – Yeah, it’s been a common
occurrence this week. Apparently, there’s a race
Mark’s been training for. It’s not the one everyone
else is training for. Suspicious. – [Cameraman] Yours? (chilled music) – Alright, it’s race day. We’re T minus an hour
and a half, give or take. On our way to the local store to choose my beverage of choice, which is quite an important
thing actually, so… I’m debating whether to go for something I like the taste of, or something that is maybe less fizzy and just goes down well. I’m going to have a little
look, see what they’ve got. But yeah, come along with me. So yeah, it’s been a long year, a lot of training leading up to this race. Finally, on the island, the moment is just around the corner, so it is pretty much just a case of putting my feet up, being confident in the preparation that I’ve
done leading up to this, and really just waiting for that big day. So I know from experience, a bottle, not that big… Probably that size. That, like, funnels back, and that can be quite hard, because then you’re sort of almost burping and coughing for the
first section of the run. Whereas it maybe takes
slightly longer to go down, but something like a can, like this, seems to go down a lot better. It pains me to say it, but I’m sort of thinking maybe like a Coors Light. I know, there’s going to be
a lot of people out there that are going to shake
their heads at that, but I’m thinking that
will go down quite well. What do you reckon? – [Cameraman] I think if you
turn up with a Coors Light, you’re going to get
laughed out of the park. – I think so too. Budweiser? Is that any better, though, than a… – Don’t like it. Don’t know why I even picked that up. Going big waves. (rattling) Not that one! (mischievous music) I’m wondering now whether a
Heineken’s going to go down better. I shouldn’t admit it, but I’ve downed enough
of those over the years, and I just, I know it works. I know that goes down. Easy, done, sorted. Final decision. (“Heart Made of Stone”) ♪ I saw the light go down Baker Street ♪ ♪ Don’t know exactly
where she wants to meet ♪ Footwear of choice for
tonight, the Cloudstratus. Not a race shoe in the slightest, but given that I just want
to get round in one piece, feeling like this is a good option. Another last-minute
change, some new shoes. Well-planned, this one! (slam) (gentle electric guitar music) I was starting to feel
a little overwhelmed. The talent that turned up
this year was impressive, and I started to doubt my preparation. – It’s been going pretty well. I stopped my taper a
little early this time, a little earlier than usual. But I’ve managed to do a
little bit of panic-training the last couple days. So been getting ready for it. I train up to three beers in my training. I found last time I did my mile that beer three and four were the hardest. – Aloha! Jeff Mcnair. Living in Boulder, Colorado. Originally from Honolulu, though. So back in my home state! My personal best is 6:42, so… That was at elevation though, so anything can happen! (gentle music) – It’s all about range of motion, so dry phase, less light weight. The pockets add some aerodynamic appeal. The fray is for style, though, so that’s actually not functional. I’m a little embarrassed. But feeling good, and it’s all about looking good, right? – [Jeff] Also notice the
Nike Next%s down there. – [Michael] Partly on
top, partly on bottom! – He’s going for Eliud Kipchoge’s like, whole persona right now with these Next%s. – Hopefully after this, everyone will know how it’s done. So, sit back and take notes! (gentle music) – As the rules were laid out
to us and my heart was beating, my hands were clammy. I only hoped this wouldn’t impeach my can-opening ability. This was it. – [Topless Cap-Wearing
Runner] To another beer mile. Let’s have some fun, let’s get drunk. Cheers.
– Cheers! – [Topless Cap-Wearing
Runner] All right, ready. Go! (upbeat electronic music) (footsteps) (glass clinking) (glass clinking) – [Cameraman] How’s Mark doing? – Mark’s doing surprisingly well. He’s sitting in third place, but there’s a bit of a battle
going on right behind him. First and second are light years in front! We’ve got Mark coming in here in third, got men close behind in fourth. – [Cameraman] You’re third! (coughing) (cheering) – [Cameraman] Sprint finish! The podium! (panting) Well done, mate! (panting) – Nice job, guys! (cheering) (gentle music) – Well, obviously, this was all just a little bit of a joke, but it was great fun doing it, and yeah, I hope you’ve enjoyed
my journey to the beer mile, and through the beer mile, the whole six minutes or so of it. And yeah, incredible
performances by everyone there, both in the men’s and the women’s, which was fantastic to see. I really feel like the event
is growing year-upon-year. We had a very competitive field this year, so maybe next year could
be better yet again. Maybe a few pros coming along. Obviously not racing the next day. But yeah, if you’ve enjoyed today’s video, hit that thumbs up button, and if you’d like to see more from GTN, then click on the globe and
subscribe to the channel. And if you’d like to see
some of the hard work that we have actually been
up to out here in Kona, you can see that by
clicking just down here.


Oumaima H

Oct 10, 2019, 9:01 am Reply


David Pinnington

Oct 10, 2019, 9:08 am Reply

GTN and beer in the same sentence – simon says its a yes from me!!

Benjamin Briu

Oct 10, 2019, 9:13 am Reply



Oct 10, 2019, 9:19 am Reply

literally laughed out loud when you called it "brick session" 😀

ironman tooltime

Oct 10, 2019, 9:20 am Reply

You've got this 👊


Oct 10, 2019, 9:25 am Reply

Ah I should've known that your Norseman was just a preparation for something greater. I cannot begin to imagine all the work and giving up you had to do. Those long training hours at the pub, brick runs, careful gear selection for the race, all that to reach the peak of human athletic performance. You, Mark, are quite an inspiration!

Tamerz WLS

Oct 10, 2019, 9:38 am Reply

You guys are silly!

Kristoffer Sandvang

Oct 10, 2019, 10:03 am Reply

A pro tip, lukewarm beer goes down faster


Oct 10, 2019, 10:11 am Reply

Brilliant Mockumentary overall man! Goes up to 11!

Kirk Barlow

Oct 10, 2019, 10:58 am Reply

Any chance of doing the Kona print GCN logo on a blue singlet? Would look v cool


Oct 10, 2019, 11:31 am Reply

Did you filmed a tour through transition like you did in roth and frankfurt?


Oct 10, 2019, 11:33 am Reply

More detail on the nutrition leading up-to and during the event please.

Forever Aloe Products

Oct 10, 2019, 11:36 am Reply

Awesome ….. a brand with ethics. 🙂


Oct 10, 2019, 11:37 am Reply

Was that even a race legal beer? Size wise YES, but did it have enough percentage? According to the rules it need to have 5% of alcohol.
To be honest I did know the term "race leagal beer" until I visited the Beer Mile World Classic 2019 here in Berlin. Our team rocked the party quite well 😉

Matt LeGrand

Oct 10, 2019, 11:56 am Reply

Biggest race of your life! Glad GTN was there to film it. 👌 All those brick sessions were worth it! Epic!


Oct 10, 2019, 12:11 pm Reply

I'd DQ you for using not local beer.

Russel Chiodo

Oct 10, 2019, 12:25 pm Reply

You’re English, Mark. How do you even recognize Coors Light as beer???


Oct 10, 2019, 1:14 pm Reply

Big Wave is the right choice. Desert Island beer.


Oct 10, 2019, 1:16 pm Reply

Good choice of beer there for the run.

Savage Poet

Oct 10, 2019, 3:04 pm Reply

How to qualify for "The Kona Beer Mile"? Just come with an empty bladder, and before you know it, urine!

Savage Poet

Oct 10, 2019, 3:05 pm Reply

The Kona Beer Mile, what else can be beer-ter

Savage Poet

Oct 10, 2019, 3:11 pm Reply

Braking the 2-Hour Marathon running on Beer: Elly You'd KeepChoking

Savage Poet

Oct 10, 2019, 3:13 pm Reply


Caleb Chapman

Oct 10, 2019, 3:31 pm Reply

Whoop! Gig ‘Em!

Shiho 1785

Oct 10, 2019, 3:49 pm Reply

7:28 that happy face lmao

Kian Ryan

Oct 10, 2019, 5:05 pm Reply

"Going to the store to choose my beer" – NEVER CHANGE YOUR NUTRITION ON RACE DAY!!!


Oct 10, 2019, 7:17 pm Reply

Lukewarm beer goes down easier! And bottle is faster! Mark you should have opted for Heineken LIGHT, you might have made the podium! 🙂 Excellent 'Spinal Tap' documentary! But you neglected a map and breakdown of the course with graphics!
1 beer at start X every quarter mile = 4 beers total.

Дмитрий Гуглов

Oct 10, 2019, 7:40 pm Reply

eee! after race can ))

Gordon Christie

Oct 10, 2019, 9:01 pm Reply

I am unbeaten in beer miles including the ironman texas beer mile in 2016,2017. i have had to stop participating for some years when volunteer after or the three years participating(tho i probably had more beer on the run in 2018 after my bike took 7 hours)

Nairon Duda

Oct 10, 2019, 9:20 pm Reply

That was fun! Haha
On my top five GTN videos

Jonathan Zappala

Oct 10, 2019, 10:57 pm Reply

It’s got to be 5% abv cheater! This was funny, I like the mockumentary. I would never do one, too much alcohol.

Clément Petit

Oct 10, 2019, 11:22 pm Reply

If we can do a relay, I might join you on the drinking parts haha

Philip Wächter

Oct 10, 2019, 11:58 pm Reply

Now i know why Lloydy did the "running for cyclists" videos…


Oct 10, 2019, 1:21 am Reply

Most of my British friends have a tendency to “over train”, do you think that was the case, Mark?! 😂

Thanks for the laugh

Andrew Thomas

Oct 10, 2019, 2:51 am Reply

I spy Sam Long!

Katia L F

Oct 10, 2019, 3:02 am Reply

Next year try Red Stripe!

Lee Jefferson

Oct 10, 2019, 3:56 am Reply

I’ve been training for this race all my adult life without knowing it!

that guy

Oct 10, 2019, 3:57 am Reply

never knew i've been training for this for the past few years hahahaha

Adam LaMontagne

Oct 10, 2019, 7:06 am Reply

Best content ever! You can't spell drunk without "run" 😀


Oct 10, 2019, 11:38 am Reply

Cold Beer? I tend to suffer from brainfreeze. I definitely recommand beer at room temperature if you want to drink it really fast.


Oct 10, 2019, 12:29 pm Reply



Oct 10, 2019, 1:21 pm Reply

i thought that there is a limit in human stupidity….well now i know there is not

Bob Cerull

Oct 10, 2019, 1:56 pm Reply


Rebecca Neumeier

Oct 10, 2019, 4:07 pm Reply

Thanks for capturing the race. I feel honored to have been a part of the event!

Trevor Clark

Oct 10, 2019, 7:23 pm Reply

What were the times

Jonas Ler

Oct 10, 2019, 8:47 pm Reply

Best GTN show i have seen….only seen 5min so far =P

Richard Hudson

Oct 10, 2019, 8:53 pm Reply

Real men do it with Jack Daniels.

Antoine Marcade

Oct 10, 2019, 10:59 pm Reply

Very funny. Long time ago (when I was student and stupid) I did a 100 meters beer race (a beer every 10 meters)

Paul Melde

Oct 10, 2019, 1:54 am Reply

I'd really like to see Heather enter the women's division next year. I think she has podium potential. The off-season training starts now!

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz

Oct 10, 2019, 9:09 am Reply

The fact that this wasn't on all of the news programmes proves just how the media are manipulating us all!

Martin Kelly

Oct 10, 2019, 2:44 pm Reply

Genuinely thought celtman and norseman specials would be hard to beat but you really pulled on my heartstrings with the emotions in this one. Really felt heart broken for Mark just short on that podium
Should have cut it at 11.55 though. It was not a joke.


Oct 10, 2019, 3:32 pm Reply

Michael Arishita whoop! Didn't think I'd see another Aggie in a GTN video.

Jeferson Nichel

Oct 10, 2019, 8:04 pm Reply

Hahaha, some good laughs with this video! Cheers!

Michael Collins

Oct 10, 2019, 11:28 pm Reply

So what were the top 4 times? Also, thought you are supposed to put the bottle or can over your head upside down to prove you drank it all. I saw a lot of splash out on some of those cans thrown.

Will H

Oct 10, 2019, 3:51 pm Reply

Alright, go Mike! 🤙🏼

Daniel Els

Nov 11, 2019, 3:00 pm Reply

the vest tan ..

Jonathan Mietzner

Nov 11, 2019, 3:08 am Reply

@ 10:08 “let’s have fun, let’s get drunk” 😂


Nov 11, 2019, 7:47 am Reply

I do a lot of running and a lot of drinking but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do both at the same time.

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