Josh Harris is a two-time beer mile world record holder. The Australian is in San Francisco to face off with the world’s best beer milers at the Beer Mile World Classic, Saturday on Treasure Island. Harris took time out of his race preparation to answer a few questions about his world records and Saturday’s race.
RepresentRunning.com: You recently ran 4:56, breaking James’ record. How did it feel to get the record back?
Josh Harris: It was a great feeling leading into the World Classic, but I knew since 2013’s last bottle mishap that I was capable of it. It was good to finally be a sub-5 minute runner. The run showed that everything was on track with my preparation for the race.
RR.com: Your record didn’t last long with Lewis Kent taking it down to 4:55 less than 24 hours later. How did you hear about his performance? What was your reaction?
JH: I heard via email when I was on the phone to my dad about my time. I was happy for Lewis, as going into the race as WR holder would add a little bit extra pressure. I am an underdog according to the betting, and will be happy to surprise them all on Saturday.
RR.com: You set your recent world record in a solo effort. How do you think having some competition out there with you is going to change how you and the other competitors approach the race?
JH: It’s going to be different that’s for sure. I’m quite used to it as I have been defeated in about six beer miles before (mostly in my beginning years). I broke the World Record and was beaten by James Hansen the next week so its something that I have gotten used to living in Launceston with James. I think the first 800m will be very tight and congested until the real beer milers show their true skill.
RR.com: When you began your beer mile career did you ever think it would get you on ESPN? What do you think about this underground event going mainstream?
JH: I didn’t think that I would be on ESPN, that’s for sure. As an eight minute guy I just wanted to get into the six minute range. Being as determined as I am I guess I was always going to find a way to do it. I love it. It means that an athlete like me who has decent success in Australia can have success on a world level. I get my name out there in a way that other athletes who match my times cannot. Brooks Running Australia are getting their singlet a lot of youtube views which can only be a good thing.
RR.com: Will it take a world record to win Saturday and if so are you prepared for that?
JH: It depends how fast the course is. It will be worth a world record even if it isn’t 4:55. I think we all have room to improve from our best time, but if the course adds a few seconds to that time and we run 4.58 then so be it.