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.
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.
1st (Matt) and 2nd (me) fastest suit marathon runners at Sydney Blackmores today. Congrats to Matt on the record! pic.twitter.com/rE6Gi0dbWs
— Michael Tozer (@MichaelTozer) September 17, 2017
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.”