FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two World Records to be attempted at 2011 Honda LA Marathon
Guinness World Record Standards to be Followed in Both Events
LOS ANGELES, February 6, 2011 - Two-time defending champion Wesley Korir
says he is in the best shape of his life and is ready to challenge his own
race record at the 2011 Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss. But he
isn't the only one aiming to set a record during the 26th edition of the
race on March 20.
Two world-record attempts will be made, based on standards set by the
Guinness World Records staff, for the "Heaviest Person to Complete a
Marathon" and the "Largest Cheerleading Dance."
The heaviest-finisher effort will be made by 40-year-old Kelly Gneiting of
Ft. Defiance, Arizona, a three-time U.S. Sumo champion and former long-haul
trucker, who actually completed the 2008 race in 11:52:11 on a whim. "A
couple of buddies met me in Las Vegas and then we flew to Los Angeles," he
said, noting that his friends filmed him during the race; he finished at
8:14 p.m. "If you go to YouTube and enter my name and ‘marathon,' there's a
ten-minute film of me running. I completed the LA Marathon three years ago
at 430 pounds, and will complete it again."
Currently weighing 410 pounds, the six-foot-tall Gneiting says 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 Ft. Defiance
The Guinness World Records requirements state that Gneiting must be
weighted immediately before and immediately after the race and the entire
race must be filmed. The current record is 275 pounds, and although
Gneiting's 2008 effort would have set the record, he didn't apply for it.
He said that the 2008 race "was the hardest day of my life," but is more
than ready for the 2011 challenge on the Stadium to the Sea course. And
with a wrestler's bravado, he growled that "I train at 7,000 feet on broken
glass shards and cattle wire, so a few uppity hills into Santa Monica don't
He expects to complete the race between 9-11 hours, jogging about half of
the course and walking the rest.
The "largest cheerleading dance" record attempt will take less time, as the
requirements call for a routine of six minutes in length. The world-record
attempt is being included in the race's "Cheer Alley" program, where squads
from all over Southern California will gather on Santa Monica Boulevard and
Moreno Drive (Mile 18), just west of the Beverly Hills border to compete
for prizes and to cheer on the runners as they reach the two-thirds mark of
The cheer routine will be choreographed by Sharp International and
distributed to each squad after registration (at www.LAMarathon.com). The
current record is 297 cheerleaders for a routine lasting 5:43, achieved on
November 7, 2009 at the UCA Mid-South Regional Championships in Memphis,
"We had nearly 300 cheerleaders from 11 squads at last year's race," noted
LA MARATHON LLC Director of Community Relations Ginger Williams, "and we're
already approaching that number with seven weeks to go. It's going to be a
record-setting day for the runners and for the cheerleaders."
Following the world-record attempt routine, each squad will do its own
cheers in a judged competition, with extra points awarded for a
Marathon-specific element or cheer. It's the third year for the
cheerleading competition, with $2,500 in prize money ($1,250 for first,
$750 for second, $500 for third) awarded to the top three finishers.
Korir, Gneiting and the cheerleaders likely won't be the only
record-setters at the 2011 race, as registration for the Stadium to the Sea
course continues at a brisk pace, threatening the record number of entrants
- 26,054 - from 2010. Registration will not be available on race day, but
remains open for now at www.LAmarathon.com.
About LA MARATHON LLC:
We inspire athletes and connect communities. With thousands of volunteers,
tens of thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators,
the Honda Los Angeles Marathon presented by K-Swiss is one of the largest
organized road races in the country. For more information, visit