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400-Pound Sumo Wrestler Finishes L.A. Marathon

Kelly Gneiting prepares himself before the start of the U.S. Sumo Open on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles. Donald Miralle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Kelly Gneiting prepares himself before the start of the U.S. Sumo Open on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

It took nine hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds, but Kelly Gneiting, a former national champion sumo wrestler, crossed the finish line at Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon.

That's 26.2 miles for a guy who weighs 400 pounds with a 60-inch waist. The Los Angeles Times reports this will likely set a Guinness world record.

"I did it, but it was hell," Gneiting, 40, told the Times, shortly after crossing the finish line. "Pure hell."

Months earlier, The Times spent some time with Gneiting as he trained for the marathon at his home in Defiance, Ariz. The paper followed him as he tried for that unlikely goal. He was the "Fat Man" amid the sea of runners who had worked their bodies to near perfect efficiency. He told the paper that by crossing that finish line he wanted to send a message to a society obsessed with being thin:

"Big people," he says, "can do the unimaginable."

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