400-Pound Marathoner Finds Strength in Size


"I think the key is you don't have to run a marathon to be active and get a great benefit. Do something fun that you enjoy," he said, adding that some overweight people like to work out in water to reduce some of the strain. "It doesn't have to be pounding or grueling. Start slow and set reasonable goals."

Gneiting said he wasn't sure he'd make it to the finish line Sunday.

"I thought at some point that my joints were going to give out, and there wasn't going to be anything I could do about it," Gneiting said.

He could barely lift his arm to wave to the hundreds of people cheering him on. But seeing one of his sumo friends at the 15-mile mark gave him the boost he needed to plod on.

Gneiting has four sons between the ages of 2 and 7 -- "future sumo champions," he called them -- and a 12-year-old daughter who is also overweight.

"I want her to look at her dad and say, 'I'm not going to let this weight inhibit me.'"

Gneiting: Don't Let Weight be a Barrier

Gneiting said he hopes his marathon effort will serve as a "penicillin shot" for overweight people with low self-esteem.

"I want to show them that just because you're overweight you can still be happy and pleased and proud of yourself and you can still accomplish something."

As for running another marathon, Gneiting said "No way."

"But I said 'no way' last time," he said. "Ask me in three years."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner is shown here at age 10 in this undated childhood family photo.
Courtesy Linda Thompson
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner celebrates after winning 1500M race during Decathlon at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1976.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PHOTO: A female coyote lay in an animal carrier after being captured by Special Operations officers on Manhattan?s west side, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in New York.
New York City Police Department Special Operations Division via AP
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library