BeardWatch speaks to Will Leer

The 2014 Sport Beard of the Year Winner was good enough to take some time out of his gruelling schedule of running and grooming to speak to us about his beard.

BW When did you start growing your beard and why?
WL As Beard 2.0 is currently in the works, I imagine you are referring to the beard which won me this prestigious honor, for brevity’s sake we’ll call it Beard 1.0 or B1. B1 came about in the wake of shaving off my mustache in September 2013. My girlfriend, bless her soul, had never seen me clean-shaven so at the end of my 2013 competitive season I agreed to remove the lip sweater. After a few weeks of looking like a respectable 20-something I began to feel an indescribable urge for change. As the preceding month was Octobeard, it seemed as good of a reason as any to start growing B1.

BW Do you feel your beard enhances your performance?
WL Absolutely. Very few of my athletic achievements have come about in the absence of facial hair. It took until this past season to realize the beard was my secret power source.

BW Do you have any tips for growing and maintaining your beard?
WL As the popular internet meme of my good friend, John Jefferson, emphasized, patience is a key ingredient to any successful beard.
Women should date men with beards because growing a beard takes patience. The kind of patience it takes to deal with your shit.WL Another key is support. Surround yourself with people who think positively about facial hair and will not try to derail your beard growing endeavors.

As far as maintenance is concerned one must exercise caution and care.  It is well-known that the growing process for facial hair is slow and tedious, so when shaping your beard you cannot get too overzealous with the shears. I try to make short, precise trimmings and work towards and ideal look/length rather than bold chops with regrettable results.

BW Track running isn’t known for beards, why do you think this is?
WL Some would argue beards function as wind sails and are aerodynamically inefficient. It is primarily a result of this misinformation that beards are not popular in the world of athletics.

BW What other sports beards do you look to for inspiration?
WL I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the indefatigable beard of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson. The power he surely derives from his beard and the fear it puts into his opponents is truly incredible. It is one of the great wonders of the sporting world.

In the world of athletics, Martyn Rooney is a beard stalwart. While wavering in length throughout the season, its presence is always felt and appreciated by fans and competitors alike.

Thanks Will, we look forward to following B2 in the 2015 Athletics season!

Remember to follow @SportBeardWatch on twitter!

Sports Beard of the Year 2014 Winner

The winner is by public vote is…

Will Leer

Will Leer 3

Photo by Andy Kiss/Cloud 259 Photo

And here’s Leer breaking the metaphoric tape of the inaugural Sports Beard of the Year. (Unmetaphorically, he’s winning the Wanamaker Mile back in February)

He enjoyed a huge amount of support in the voting from various running magazines, fellow athletes and the USA Track and field team tweeted their support.

The 29 year old is an American middle-distance runner from Minnetonka, Minnesota and has been enjoying a great year running 1500m and the mile.

Click here to read BeardWatch’s exclusive interview with the man himself.

Here’s more Leer Beard:

Will Leer 4

Will after winning the 2014 Morton Mile in a new meet record of 3:51.82


The 2014 World Indoor Championships, where Leer placed 6th in the 1500m

Will Lear

After finishing 2nd in the USA Indoor Track And Field Championships 2014 (3:43.21)

2014 IAAF World Relays

The 2014 World Relay Championships

And just for fun, here’s a glorious moustache:

Will Leer moustache2nd place:

Stuart Sinclair

Stuart Sinclair 2A hero at Bristol Rovers, who are appropriately nicknamed the Pirates, and the Best British Beard.Stuart Sinclair 3Stuart SinclairStuart Sinclair 4

3rd place

Davide Moscardelli

Davide Moscardelli 2A late surge for Davide secured 3rd place. One of the most sculpted and stylish beards on the list would be a fine addition to any bearded team.

Davide Moscardelli Davide Moscardellimoscardelli-570-1Davide Moscardelli subbuteo

Sports Beard of the Year 2014

Beard-of-the-Year-2014Here we are, the inaugural Sport Beard of the Year (#SBOTY2014). Below are the Beard of the Month winners from BeardWatch’s first 13 months, and it’s up to you to vote for the overall winner. Some beards may no longer be with us, or be at their glorious best, but your sound judgement will vote the one that had the greatest impact for the promotion of beards throughout sport.

So stroke your beard in deep thought and ponder the following Beard of the Month winners…

Voting is closed! Winner announced at 9pm GMT.


Tim Howard

November 2013 – American – Football

Tim HowardInspirational in goal for the USA in the World Cup.

Robert Oberst

December 2013 – American – Strongman

Robert Oberst 1Oberst can lift massive stones with his beard (and his arms). Finished 9th in the 2013 World’s Strongest Man Final.

Andy Carroll

January – English – Football

Andy CarrollSpent a long spell injured sensibly growing a beard and burst back into the Premier League in January.

Davide Moscardelli

February – Italian – Football

moscardelli-570-1Voted the greatest Italian football beard. Difficult to argue.

Will Leer

March – American – Athletics

will-lear-2The fastest beard over 800m that you’re likely to see. 6th in the IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014.

Kyle Amor

April – English – Rugby League

Kyle AmorPart of the St Helens team that won the 2014 Super League Grand Final.

Geraint Walsh

May – Welsh – Rugby Union

Geraint Walsh 3Won the Welsh Premiership player of the year with Pontypridd before moving to Cardiff Blues in the summer.

Andrea Pirlo

June – Italian – Football

PirloThe epitome of bearded cool, proving bigger isn’t always better.

Kane Richardson

July – Australian – Cricket

Kane RichardsonSporting a fine example of a beard at only 23 years, Richardson is Australia’s finest hirsute cricketer.

Stuart Sinclair

August – English – Football

Stuart Sinclair 3Sinclair plays for the appropriately nicknamed ‘Pirates’ of Bristol Rovers, swashbuckling his way through England’s Football League.

James Tomlinson

September – English – CricketJames Tomlinson 3

A superb end of season for Tomlinson led to Hampshire to win the County Championship Division Two.

Fetu’u Vainikolo

October – Tongan – Rugby UnionFetu'u Vainokolo

Tonga’s happiest man made history when the Exeter Chiefs won their first Anglo-Welsh Silver Cup

Geoff Cross

November – Scottish – Rugby Union
Geoff Cross 5Arguably Rugby Union’s best current beard. A qualified doctor and expecting father, Cross is full taking advantage of this bearded opportunity while he can.


If you want to look as good as these fine gentlemen, take a look at Beard Trimmer Reviews for top brands and top tips.