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Men's and women's beer mile world records fall in Austin

Tuesday saw both Lewis Kent and Erin O'Mara chug four beers and run four quarter-mile laps in record time. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The race between the two fastest beer milers in history produced a stunning new standard Tuesday night in Austin, Texas.

Lewis Kent, a 22-year-old cross-country runner from the University of Western Ontario, broke his own world record with a time of 4:47:17 at the second annual FloTrack World Championships.

Defending champion and Manitoba postman Corey Gallagher closed ground but couldn't quite catch Kent and finished 2 seconds back.

Erin O'Mara, a 31-year-old from Fenton, Michigan, sprung a massive upset and smashed the previous world record by more than 8 seconds by running a 6:08:51, which suggests the women's 6-minute barrier could soon be eclipsed.

Gallagher, 28, broke Kent's previous world record with a time of 4:54.4 on Oct. 12, but Kent returned the favor and reclaimed the record five weeks later with a 4:51.9.

"I couldn't hear the splits during the race, but on the Jumbotron, you could see the people behind you," Kent told ESPN.com. "Each time I came around the last corner, I'd say, 'S---, don't let Corey be there. And, damn, he was always there. I tried to drop him on the first lap, the second, the third. That's why the race was so fast. I was only concerned about getting the win today, but Corey gets a lot of credit for pushing me."

Because of extenuating circumstances, it was an even more impressive run before an estimated 2,000 spectators than might have appeared.

Kent taped a segment on "Ellen" Monday featuring a truncated beer mile -- three beers over 300 meters in 90 seconds -- against a show staffer, which ran Tuesday. Kent actually missed his plane from Los Angeles on Monday night and didn't get to Austin until Tuesday.

"The taping ran long, so I got up at 4 a.m. and flew at 6," Kent said. "I went for a shakedown run when I got there, then took a two-hour nap. I didn't think there was any chance for a record. I don't know how it happened, but it happened."

Kent pockets $5,000 for winning the race and setting the record, plus he gets an undisclosed bonus from Brooks, his new sponsor.

Gallagher, meanwhile, struggled at the start.

"After that first beer," he said, "I was completely thrown off. I have no excuses."

O'Mara, wearing an orange singlet and white tube socks, won the race in the chugging zone, quaffing her Budweiser Platinum with authority. Forty-three-year-old Austin resident Andrea Fisher, the 2014 second-place finisher, was credited with a second-place time of 6:26:29.

Less than an hour after the race, O'Mara told ESPN.com she was feeling "drunk but mostly happy."

"My gosh, this atmosphere was so much more competitive than Michigan," she said. "I've picked up a lot of little tips, like walking through the transition area, that really helped me."

Elizabeth Herndon, a Kent State Geology professor who ran a 6:17.76 at last year's inaugural race, did not compete.

O'Mara's previous best was a 6:40 run in the Michigan Beer Mile. O'Mara is a graduate of Eastern Michigan and her 2 hour, 43 minute personal best in the marathon has qualified her for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.