Former US Sumo Wrestling Champion Completes The Los Angeles Marathon
While a marathon time of 9 hrs, 48 min and 52 seconds may not seem that impressive, it is when you consider that it was done by a man whose primary sport used to be Sumo wrestling. In fact, just the fact that he completed it, has earned 40-year-old Kelly Gneiting, who weighs 400lbs, a place in the Guinness Book of Records, for the heaviest person to ever complete a marathon.
What's even more stunning is that this is not the first time, Mr. Gneiting has done it - In 2008, he completed it in 11 hours and 52 min, but his feat was not recognized by Guinness World Records, because he wasn't weighed before and after the event.
And, while he beat his own time by almost two hours, it was not easy. For one, since he was much slower than the 13-minute mile estimated for most participants, the marathoner had to lumber through the route, battling not only heavy rain and strong winds, but also, Los Angeles traffic.
The Northwestestern Arizona resident who ran the first eight miles and walked the rest, all whilst suffering through painful blisters, described the race as 'pure hell'. However, he was determined to complete it ,even if it meant crawling across the finish line!
Mr. Gneiting who won the US Sumo Federation title in 2005, 2006 and 2007, believes that he is one of the world's best athletes. He decided to take up this latest challenge, not only to make history, but also, show heavy people all over the world that nothing is impossible, if one puts their mind to it.
Next on his agenda? A hike from the Dead Sea to Mt. Everest and swimming across the 21-mile long English Channel. His ultimate dream however, is to join the National Football League and play for the Philadelphia Eagles!
Resources: Dailymail.co.uk,nydailynews.com, bbc.co.uk