Running a marathon takes serious training, not the perfect runner’s body, but a 405-pound man is pushing the limit in tomorrow’s Los Angeles Marathon. Kelly Gneiting, a professional sumo wrestler from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is aiming to break the Guinness World Record for the heaviest person to finish a marathon – a distinction that leaves us more concerned for his health than impressed by his gumption.
Gneiting says he unofficially ran the L.A. Marathon in 2008, finishing in 12 hours (but since his results weren’t documented, his time can’t be confirmed). “I honestly think I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Normally, we think the concept of a “runner’s body” does most people more harm than good (and yes, “fat people” can be runners, too). Elite distance runners typically maintain a very low body weight to improve speed and minimize strain on their cartilage, joints and muscles, but most of us aren’t running several marathons per year, and we’re not going for gold, either (even if we are training to set a new PR). The idea that we should all look so long and lithe is frustrating for those of us born without extra long femurs, making us feeling like we don’t deserve credit for all the miles we put in, just because they haven’t given us the right kind of thighs.
But Gneiting doesn’t just not have a runner’s body; he’s obese, putting him at risk for more than just sore knees. (He’s six feet tall and weighed 200-pounds in college; the additional 200 pounds is much more than average adult weight gain.) Of course going for a run is better than getting no exercise, but such grueling physical activity could result in sudden cardiac death. Is Geitner’s goal healthy or stupid? Sound of in the comments section, below:
via NBC Sports