Apparently, running a marathon at 400 pounds is not only possible; it will also get you a world record: Kelly Gneiting, the sumo wrestler who ran in yesterday’s Los Angeles Marathon, broke the Guinness World Record for heaviest man to finish a marathon, after finishing the course in just under ten hours.
Luckily, Gneiting survived the event without serious injury; he said the marathon was “pure hell,” and suffered blisters so severe that he feared they would stop him from finishing, but he finished the race in nine hours, 48 minutes, and 52 seconds. He jogged the first eight miles of the race, and walked the final 18. His training program, according to ABC News, involved six-mile runs on Saturdays and walking a mile and a half each way to work every day. That’s more physical activity than most people get, but judging by weight alone, he wasn’t in optimal condition for racing.
We’re no snobs about finishing times (just check out how we feel about the Boston Marathon qualifying times), and we’re not into judging an athlete by body type, either (we think the idea of a runner’s body is bullshit). But to us, running 26 miles at 400 pounds is tempting fate. That kind of exertion can cause serious health issues, even for people who aren’t considered obese. But the health risks don’t seem to bother Gneiting, who’s planning to swim the English Channel to set yet another world record, now that he has the marathon under his belt.
Is Gneiting’s quest to be the fattest man to finish athletic events healthy or stupid? Tell us what you think: