LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If all goes well, two world records – one for the heaviest person to complete a marathon and another for the largest cheerleading dance – will be set at the Los Angeles Marathon.
The LA Marathon, which includes a 5K run and a bicycle race, takes place March 20 on a new course through Los Angeles.
Kelly Gneiting, of Ft. Defiance, Ariz., a 410-pound statistician at the Ft. Defiance Indian Hospital will try to set a Guinness World Record as the heaviest marathon finisher. Gneiting completed the 2008 marathon in 11 hours, 52 minutes and 11 seconds, but was not credited with the record because he was not weighed immediately before and immediately after the race, as Guinness requires.
Guinness also requires that the entire race be filmed. The previous record for heaviest marathon finisher is 275 pounds.
Gneiting, 40, is a three-time United States sumo champion who says he has been training every day, with a six-mile jog on Saturdays, in addition to walking a mile-and-a-half each way to his job. Gneiting says he expects to finish the LA marathon in between nine and 11 hours while jogging about half the 26-mile, 385-yard course and walking the rest of the way.
An attempt for the largest cheerleading dance will also be made at Santa Monica Boulevard at Moreno Drive, on mile 18 of the course. A six-minute cheer routine will be distributed to each team after registration.
Marathon spokeswoman Ginger Williams says nearly 300 cheerleaders from 11 teams were at last year’s race and that even with seven weeks to go, the this year’s marathon is already approaching that number,.
The standing record for biggest cheerleading dance is 297 cheerleaders for five minutes, 43 seconds on March 9, 2009 at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Mid-South Regional Championships in Memphis, Tenn.
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