March 21, 2011

396-Pound Sumo Wrestler Runs Marathon: Kelly Gneiting, a 396-pound sumo wrestler, has set a new Guinness world record as the heaviest person to complete a marathon. Gneitling completed the Los Angeles Marathon in 9 hours 48 minutes and 52 seconds. "I was really struggling in the last five miles," he said, "but I said to myself, 'If I have to crawl, I will.'"

posted by rcade to other at 12:47 PM - 9 comments

An inspiration to all of us who order our clothes in the "husky" section.

posted by Demophon at 12:33 PM on March 21

As a Husky Guy, I run a leg of the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay every year with some friends. It is a 5 man team that runs the marathon together. This will be the third year. I am raising money for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I am about 275pds and usually one of the bigger people there. I got suckered into doing this 3 years ago but really enjoy it now plus it helps me get in shape for summer. This year I am only doing 5 miles. The most I have done is 6.1. The thought of doing another 20 blows my mind. Amazing effort big guy!!

posted by Debo270 at 02:12 PM on March 21

5.2 ton-miles is a lot to move. That's a super effort.

posted by Howard_T at 05:34 PM on March 21

At risk of appearing dismissive, doesn't his pace amount to just over 2.6 miles per hour? Which is significantly slower than the normal human walking pace of 3.8-4 miles per hour? It doesn't really seem accurate to say that he "ran a marathon." He showed guts and resolve, and accomplished something pretty special, but he didn't "run" anything.

I've never been weight challenged, so I don't understand the particular challenges that the overweight face. I have, however watched sixty year old overweight men and women complete the 26 mile first day of the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in less than seven hours.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:36 PM on March 21

I'm not "weight challenged" either: just fat--though not nearly as big as this guy. (He's close to two of me.) So I do have some idea of the challenges completing a 26-mile course involve. Yes, his pace is significantly slower than the average walking pace for a "normal-size" person. But, if he jogged the first ten miles, that in itself is quite an accomplishment. I hope he keeps it up; his time will improve with each attempt.

posted by billinnagoya at 09:29 PM on March 21

The distinction between running and walking tends to break down at the citizen racer level anyway. Most people would not be able to move themselves 26 miles on their own two legs at any pace if you held a gun to their heads, so if he wants to say he ran a marathon, I'm not about to argue.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:00 AM on March 22

Interesting that you can be so fat and out of shape that you get applauded for participating in a running event even when you are walking. I actually chose the word participating as opposed to competing since he obviously was not there to compete.

I would give the guy more credit if he stopped worrying about marathons and just reduced his calorie intake. For a 400 lb'er, he is lucky to have finished , but even luckier he didn't drop dead.

posted by Atheist at 02:24 PM on March 23

Interesting that you can be so fat and out of shape ...

Sumo wrestlers generally are in terrific shape for their size. They bulk up by eating a high-protein stew called chanko nabe and their diet is highly controlled.

posted by rcade at 03:05 PM on March 23

Sumo wrestlers generally are in terrific shape for their size.

That undoubtedly applies to professional sumo wrestlers here in Japan, where sumo remains very much a spartan, feudal world: long hours of grueling training, at times brutal discipline, and a very strict hierarchical social structure. However, I wonder just how true it is of amateur and semi-professional sumo wrestlers in other countries, such as the individual at the center of this article.

Chanko, by the way, is delicious.

posted by billinnagoya at 11:03 PM on March 23

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