As It Happens

Edmonton man who ran a half marathon in 90 shirts says it took 'a lot of practice'

David Eliuk set an unofficial world record on Sunday when he ran the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Edmonton, Alta., while wearing 90 T-shirts. The previous Guinness World Record holder for "Most T-Shirts worn for a half marathon" donned 76 shirts.

David Eliuk said he wanted 'something fun and unique' to challenge himself

David Eliuk, right, ran the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Edmonton, Alta., while wearing 90 T-shirts. (Submitted by David Eliuk)

Story Transcript

Running a half marathon in freezing temperatures is no small feat — and David Eliuk did it while dressed up in a record-breaking number of shirts. 

On Sunday, Eliuk ran the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Edmonton, Alta., while wearing 90 T-shirts. That's 14 shirts more than the current record holder, David Smith, wore during a Clowne, U.K. half marathon in 2019, according to the Guinness World Records.

"I wanted to give the next person who tries for the record a challenge," Eliuk told As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"Hopefully the 90 [shirts] will last for a few years and it'll be something that I can hold on to."

Eliuk, second from left, said many of the shirts were in sizes XXL and XXXL to accommodate the layering. (Submitted by David Eliuk)

Layered clothing may provide warmth to winter runners, but the 90 shirts Eliuk wore also added considerable weight — 46 pounds, he said, with about five additional pounds of "sweat weight." 

A separate training regimen was also required. "I started about four or five months ago, and every two weeks I would add 10 or 12 layers to what I was wearing," the runner explained. "And then it eventually would build up, so that I could get used to the weight and the restriction of movement."

Most of the shirts were donated to Eliuk by a sporting event management company, and came in large sizes. "As you add more layers, the shirts need to go up in size, so that they can even fit over top of my body," he explained.

Eliuk finished the race in two hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds. He said the extra layers gave him some trouble in the beginning, when the shirts temporarily cut off circulation to his left arm. 

"I was losing a little bit of motor function in my left hand, and my crew that was with me was able to make some adjustments along the way and fix that problem, so that we could run the second half of the race in a more comfortable manner."

Eliuk is currently in the process of collecting evidence for his official Guinness World Record certification. In the meantime, he said his children got inspired to take on some records.

"Around Christmas time, my three kids started asking me questions about, you know, what could they do? So we did some research, and Guinness actually has some specific kid world records for kids under the age of 16 and different age categories. And we've submitted their names to attempt a couple."

Eliuk said the records include the number of socks put on one foot in 30 seconds, and stacking Lego blocks in a right-angle tower. 

Written by Olsy Sorokina. Interview with David Eliuk produced by Niza Lyapa Nondo.

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