Fastest Marathon on stilts, as Santa, Maasai Warriors, or Oldest Runner
HOW IN THE WORLD DID I COME TO OFFER OLDEST MARATHONER COACHING?
It all started with a blog post from 2008. That year on January 25th a teacher broke one of the 12 Guinness World Records set among the 30,000+ runners at the 2008 London Marathon. Those Records:
- Fastest marathon as a film character: James McComish (Darth Maul) 3 hr 55 min 22 sec
- Most linked runners to complete a marathon: Richard Kirk captained a team of 24 Metropolitan Police Officers
- Fastest marathon by a linked team: Oliver Holland, James Kennedy, James Wrighton, Eoghan Murray and Nathan Jones: 3 hr 38 min 24 sec
- Fastest marathon dressed as Santa: Ian Sharman: 3 hr 12 min 27 sec
- Fastest marathon in a military uniform: 5 hr 11 min 42 sec
- Fastest marathon on stilts: Michelle Frost: 8 hr 25 min
- Fastest clown: Jason Westermoreland: 3 hr 24 min 04 sec (Jason was overtaken by Paul Fernandez who ran 2 hr 50 min as a clown on Jan 25 at Gloucester Marathon, yet to be verified by Guinness as of the original post)
- Fastest marathon dribbling a basketball: Jean-Yves Kanyamibwa: 4 hr 30 min 29 sec
- Longest scarf knitted whilst running a marathon: Susie Hewer: 1 m 62 cm
- Fastest marathon dressed as a superheroine: Christina Tomlinson: 3 hr 13 min 33 sec
- Fastest marathon in a fireman’s uniform: Mark Rogers and Paul Bartlett: 5 hr 36 min 12 sec
- Fastest group of Maasai Warriors to complete a marathon: 5 hr 24 min 47 sec
Oh… and for those of you who are serious runners, it might seem worth noting that the same marathon also resulted in 5 of the 22 fastest marathons of all time. That's not mentioned on the Guinness Records site. Not noteworthy after all?
Not everyone who deserves Guinness recognition gets it. Mike Fairfield of www.fairfieldphoto.com pointed me to this Gary Finelli, who ran late-80s marathons dressed as a pirate, ghost, and as Michael Jackson. His topper: he ran as a New York Met, playing catch with spectators along the route, before literally sliding across the finish line in under 3 hours.
Of course, some things have changed. Santa is now down to a 2:54. But no faster Maasai Warriors have emerged.
I ended my 2008 post saying: "If you have a marathon record attempt in mind, I'd be happy to petition Guinness to be there to adjudicate and make it official!"
As it happens, I did work with the record holder for the longest multi-day ultramarathon completed by a blind runner and even served as his guide in the 2011 NYC Marathon. Pursuing that taught me the ins and outs of Guinness.
And now that I'm older and keen to run forever myself, I'm interested in aiding those wondrous nonagenarian runners who want to continue in the tradition of the late great Gladys Burrill and push the record higher.