Fancy Dress Marathon World Records


Ever wondered how fast an Elvis impersonator has ran a full marathon? How about the fastest ever person to run 26.2 miles dressed as a vegetable?

For many runners, the elite marathon world records are unattainable and out of reach. With that in mind, if you fancy a challenge to push yourself, take a look at these best marathon times ran in fancy dress. With all these categories officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, why not sign up, raise money for charity and earn yourself a world record? Now that would be something to show and tell!

Note: Certain WR categories do require your fancy dress to meet requirements, so make sure you apply to Guinness before trying!

Fastest Superhero

As a popular category within marathon fancy dress, running in a superhero costume won’t give you secret powers but you’ll definitely feel ultra-light and streamline in lycra. Stephane Hetherington ran his world record dressed as “The Flash” in a lightning fast 2:33:58. Set in 2012, Hetherington achieved his time at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada. What a hero!

Running a marathon in a dress

Maybe she was ecstatic about getting hitched or maybe she fled the alter at the last minute but Eleanor Franks broke the World Record for fastest marathon in a wedding dress when she crossed the line in 4:11:01. To be eligible for the record, Eleanor had to wear a veil over her face and run extra carefully in a full length dress that went to the ankles.

Superheroes running the London Marathon

World records in the wrong sports gear

Have you ever forgotten your sports kit, or even worse, turned up to the wrong practice? These marathon world records were all broken wearing recognised sports gear.

First up, Peter Kelly is world record holder for fastest time dressed in Martial Arts uniform after breaking the previous best in 2010’s London Marathon. Going for the traditional uniform, Peter completed the distance in 3:39:20.

If you’ve ever worried about overheating during a marathon, I don’t recommend running it in full Cricket Uniform as David Smith did in 2012. From the polo shirt and jumper to the helmet and thigh guards, David ran the equivalent distance of 2097 cricket lengths to finish the the Duchy Marathon in Redruth in a world record time of 4:16:21. He must have got a sweaty box from those innings!

David also holds marathon world records for the quickest times ran as a Boxer (3:35:34) and as a Sumo Wrestler (3:51:54).

Lastly, Paul Statchuk from Canada broke the world record for the fastest time ran in Ice Hockey Kit whilst racing at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2012. Having worn the Maple Leafs kit, Paul slid to victory in a historic 4 hours 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

Fast food

Breaking a marathon world record can also be achieved through running as an item of food. The world’s fastest vegetable is currently Edward Lumley who smashed the record whilst dressed as Carrot. Finishing in a healthy time of 2:59:33, Edward achieved his feat at 2012’s London Marathon on the 22nd April.

Fastest Marathon time dressed as Elvis Presley

To break any running world record requires a little less conversation and a little more action. Ian Sharman wore an Elvis outfit to runaway with a rocking time of 2:49:52 in Washington (2009). For any suspicious minds wondering what was worn during the attempt, Ian achieved the record wearing a white jumper suit and a recognisable high-rise pompadour wig. Long live the king!

How fast can a Zombie run?

Should the world ever get taken over by a Zombie apocalypse, you’d better pray that you never bump into Sean McShane. Dressed as a zombie, Sean completed the Dublin City Marathon in 3 hours 18 and 38 seconds. Recorded by Guinness as the world’s fastest marathon dressed as a zombie, it’s fair to say most runners feel pretty dead after completing the exhausting 26.2 mile distance.

running with zombies - fastest fancy dress marathon world records

Going to war for a world record

When challenging a world record, your body goes to war against the pain, fears and negative thoughts that try to break you. Dressed as warriors these world record breakers were victorious in battle.

The world’s fastest marathon dressed in armour belongs to Peter Pedersen. Running at the Hans Christian Anderson Marathon in Denmark, Peter wore 28 kilograms worth of medieval battle armour to break the world record in 6:46:59.

If you fancy looking the part without body armour dragging you down, the world’s speediest marathon dressed as a Viking belongs to Ben Afforselles. Wearing a horned helmet, furry leggings and vest and a breastplate, Ben looked the part in London 2011 and finished his crusade in 3 hours 12 minutes and 11 seconds.

Fastest runner dressed as Santa

Every Christmas Eve, Santa travels an astonishing 7.5 billion miles in around 24 hours. During marathon season, his fastest time is 2:55:50 and was ran by Paul Simons at the London Marathon in 2009.

Fastest Fancy Dress Marathon Runners

So there you have it, some extremely nippy world records have been ran in fancy dress. How does your marathon time compare against the world’s fastest Elvis or Bride?

Fancy breaking an official World Record? Apply directly to Guinness World Records for your opportunity to enter the history books.


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I'm a super keen injured runner with over 20 years experience in races and endurance training. Get in touch with me over Twitter, G+ on in the comments below.

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