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Australian sets snazzy new record for fastest marathon in a suit

The record for running the fastest marathon in a suit has again been lowered and is highly impressive at 3:53/K

Mid-race action shot of Matthew Whitaker running the 2017 Sydney Marathon on route to setting the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon in a suit. Photo credit: Victor Sailer

Matthew Whitaker ran the 2017 Syndey Marathon on Sept. 17th in a time of 2:44:29 to set a new Guinness World Record for fastest marathon in a suit. That’s a pace of 3:53 per kilometre for 42.2K.

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This new record was almost 15 minutes faster than the previous record of 2:58:03 set in 2013 and held by Joe Elliott.

In order to set the record, a runner must sport a full three-piece suit including pants, jacket and vest. Moreover, they must also wear a dress shirt and tie with the top button done up. Fortunately, they are permitted to wear running shoes.

Whitaker said he ran a few training runs in the suit but the longest run he did was only 14K. It was a wool suit that was purposely one size too big so as not to restrict his movements. Whitaker had mixed feelings about his experience and is quoted as saying: “The first half was fine, but the last 15-20 kilometres were really, really horrible. It got really heavy and restrictive and slowed me down a fair bit.” He also noted that the suit suffered from a high degree of wear and tear–“it’s drenched in sweat”–from the effort and likely will never be worn again.

Interestingly, another runner, Michael Tozer, was also running the same race in a suit and also dipped under the prior record running 2:50:57. Tozer currently holds the record for a half marathon in a suit with a time of 1:18:10.

When asked if he will defend his record if broken, Whitaker said, “I’ll see if anyone else has a crack at it. I probably won’t be doing that same one again.”