Juris Silenieks got plenty of interesting remarks from spectators during his record-setting 21.1K-run at the Hotlanta half-marathon in Georgia on June 12. The source of the remarks came from Silenieks wearing dress shoes en route to running 1:17:05, an unofficial record for fastest half-marathon in formal footwear.
— Wolf & Shepherd (@TheShepherdsDen) June 12, 2016
The record is unofficial until footage of the race is sent to the Guinness World Records office and approved for legitimacy and accuracy.
Silenieks, 23, is an accomplished collegiate runner with the University of Syracuse (now graduated) having run sub-14:30 in the 5,000m and sub-30 in the 10,000m. He was part of the NCAA-winning cross-country team at the U.S. national collegiate championships in November alongside teammate and Canadian Justyn Knight. Adam Palamar, an Ottawa native, also attends Syracuse.
He was wearing honey brown leather dress shoes by Wolf & Shepherd, a footwear brand that takes the “comfort, cushioning and fit found in your best running shoes and neatly conceal it in classic styles.” The performance-based shoe looks like a dress shoe but is suitable for running if the need arises.
Silenieks, a native of Pittsburgh, was the overall winner of the event which took place in downtown Atlanta. He was 85 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
While suit running has become popular as of late, most runners who try to set a record in formal attire wear running shoes as the record rules permit them to do so.
The footwear brand’s founder, Justin Schneider, is a former designer at Adidas, New Balance and Reebok before he decided to create a product that was more performance-based than most dress shoes. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, a well-known running school, in Indiana.
According to Forbes, Schneider helped design track spikes for Adidas, appropriate considering his newest Florida-based venture. The Guinness World Records website does not currently list an existing record for running a half-marathon in dress shoes.