LOS ANGELES (CBS) — When the L.A. Marathon takes place Sunday, one of the runners will attempt to set the record for the heaviest person ever to complete a marathon.

Kelly Gneiting of Fort Defiance, Arizona, weighs about 400 pounds.

“I am a sumo wrestler and I’ve represented the United States for the last seven years at the World Sumo Championships or World Games,” he said at a news conference Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

“I don’t think anyone has used the word `marathon’ and `sumo’ in the same sentence,” he said. “I like the aspect of the two opposite-spectrum sports — sumo and marathon running — coming together, and I love a challenge.”

“If anyone would sponsor me, I’d love to swim the English Channel at 400 pounds. I love the thought of 400 pounds and showcasing what a 400-pound person can do. A lot of America is overweight. Just because you are overweight, you don’t need to let that stop you from accomplishing anything. A little piece of that will be shown tomorrow when I complete the marathon.”

Gneiting, who weighed in during the news conference at 400.8 pounds, will try to set a Guinness World Record for the heaviest person to ever complete a marathon — the current record is 275 pounds.

Gneiting completed the 2008 marathon in 11 hours, 52 minutes, 11 seconds, but was not credited with the record because he did not follow the Guinness requirements that he be weighed immediately before and after the race, and that the entire race be filmed.

The three-time United States sumo champion said he trains everyday, with a six-mile jog on Saturdays, in addition to walking a mile-and-a-half each way to his job as a statistician at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital.

The 40-year-old Gneiting said he expects to complete the race in nine to 11 hours, jogging about half the 26-mile, 385-yard course and walking the rest of the way.

Gneiting said he is confident he can finish the race because he finished the 2008 Los Angeles race.

“It was the hardest day of my life,” he said. “It was hell. I had blisters all over my feet. I wondered if my pinkie toes were going to fall off, on and on. I finished it. That was the big thing. I trained about four days a week for about 3-4 months last time. I drove a semi-truck, which is not exactly a fitness job.”

He said that this time he trained six days a week instead of four.

“This time I’ve done everything I can to prepare for this marathon and stay in my sumo shape,” he said. “I’ve dropped 25 pounds from three years ago and so this is automatic for me. I will complete this marathon.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (19)
  1. Allen says:

    He’s probably gonna die.

  2. Mel Gibson says:

    yea he could die and then his relatives will sue L A for allowing him to compete. You don’t see a lot of extremely overweight people living to ripe old ages.
    But he is trying. I wonder why he just doesn’t eat a lot

    1. Ben says:

      You Idiot. No participant or their relatives can sue Los Angeles since the City of Los Angeles Marathon is not owned by the city. It is owned by Frank McCourt who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers. They can sue him.

      1. Will says:

        Actually, to compete in a marathon, you sign all sorts of waivers of liability. Since you do it at your own risk, you can’t sue anyone.

  3. alex says:

    wow what a dumb statement wonder why he just doesn’t eat a lot. Well you don’t see a lot of skinny sumo wrestlers either

  4. drozone69 says:

    Nonnewsworthy articles such as this is one way to dumb down a society.Meanwhile our nations economy continues its rapid slide into socialism.

  5. Joseph Yam says:

    You Suck, You Suck! You didn’t run the marathon in 5 hrs like my friend Dave did. I don’t run marathons, but I like to talk about people who do.

  6. socalmal says:

    If you read his whole story , he’s a true athlete. He can bend at the waist and put his forehead on the floor, and he can do the splits! His statement is that being huge or classified as overweight doesn’t automatically indicate poor health. People need to stop assuming that. There is no such thing as a certain weight that fits all because muscle and solid, healthy bones have more weight.

  7. Epi says:

    Exactly. You cant sue anyone. I have ran the marathon 2 times, without training at lot. My times were in the 6 hrs range. Nothing to write home about. Marathon is more mental than physical. If you have the will to finish then you will finish. Good luck to the sumo. He will finish.

  8. Mel Gibson says:

    Man, what a bunch of Haters. Any Lawyer will tell you anyone can Sue anyone.
    All it takes is a jury full of Dumb people like you Haters and they can walk away with a lot of money

  9. Rob says:

    I hope the guy does well, but there is a huge difference between the physical fitness of someone who trains to compete at a championship level, in a sport where size matters and a 400 pound couch potato who has to catch his breath walking to the fridge.

  10. Rick says:

    It’s raining, Don’t slip!

  11. anthony .......c says:

    damn atleast hes trying ……… dont hate !!!!!!!!!

  12. ILLEGALS says:

    He should call Subway and ask for their endorsement. LA Marathon ain’t gonna give him sh!t. Maybe he’ll end up like Jerry for Subways.

  13. Mr. Cracker says:

    you go fatty!!!!!!!

  14. Art says:

    He still hasn’t come in and reports are they can’t locate him

  15. Rick says:

    Was there a wake behind him as he ran?

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