Kelly Gneiting, pictured above, completed the LA Marathon this past weekend and set what is being called a Guinness Book of World Record for being the Largest Person to ever complete a marathon at 400 pounds.
His finishing time was Nine hours, 48 minutes, and 52 seconds. That breaks down to a pace of 22min 28secs per mile.
Not sure how I feel about this story? My first thought is that I am happy that this man is running, but then I think why the hell is someone this large even attempting to do a marathon? I mean the chance of hurting himself had to be very high? Why take that risk and put the race organizers and volunteers in harms way?
Then after seeing what his average pace per mile was (22:28) I think this is not really much of an accomplishment at all? The guys is stubborn, that is for sure, because that is a long time to walk. But he was out taking a 26.2 mile stroll through the park?
Then I think how the hell does the Los Angeles Marathon even keep the course open for this long? The Houston Marathon has a 6hr cut-off time, which to me, is very reasonable. The RD causes this type of stunt by allowing the course to be open for this long. Just stupid.
After typing this out my final thoughts are that I am not impressed. Not impressed at all. If it takes you almost 10 hours to complete a marathon you should not be out there. There are shorter distance races that he could have done. Lose some (a lot) weight and then do the marathon. A marathon is the pinnacle of achievement in the runner's world and in my opinion this guy disrespected that achievement by wobbling along for a little less than an average workday. Ridiculous.
What do the rest of you think? Should this man be celebrated for his "accomplishment"?
**EDIT - The course closed 8hrs ofter the start. That is a 13min/mi pace. Take back what I said about the RD. This guy "finished" after the race was shutdown. **