David Eliuk GWR 120 t-shirts in half marathon

You'd Put Your Shirt On This Guy!

Guinness World Record claimed by man wearing 120 t-shirts

Here's a statement we can all identify with. We've got far too many t-shirts and we never wear more than half a dozen of our favourite ones. Does that ring true for you? It certainly does for us at the runABC nerve centre. How about having 120 t-shirts? And wearing them all – at the same time – in a half marathon race!

That is exactly what an oversized and 22kg heavier than usual David Eliuk did in his home town Hypothermic Half Marathon in Edmonton, Canada on Sunday 5 February 2023 – one year after unofficially breaking the Guinness World Record for running a half marathon while wearing 94 t-shirts in less than the three-hour time limit set by GWR for record purposes.

As is so often the case with such endeavours this was not a simple case of getting dressed, running 13.1 miles, and claiming a Guinness World Record. Eliuk was looking for an odd goal for his next event and started training for the multiple garment record by adding 10 t-shirts every few weeks in his build-up runs for the 2022 Hypothermic Half Marathon, eventually managing to wear 94 on the day. However, he was beaten to the record by another extrovert who had paid an $800 fee to expedite his own claim.

Having learnt from his experience, Eliuk redoubled his efforts in training and boosted his wardrobe to a massive 120 t-shirts. He ran the 2023 Hypothermic Half Marathon dressed in 20 t-shirts of each size from Medium to XXXXL. It took his support team more than half an hour to load his body with the most unusual compression garments ever seen in a race!

Despite restricted arm movements and the immense pressure on his upper body, Eliuk was certainly the warmest competitor in the icy conditions as he completed the course in 2:43:30, accompanied by his supporters Leanna Carriere and Jen Hamel who acted as official witnesses and massaged his arms and hands every few miles to help with blood flow to his extremities.

But that was not the end of the effort. He then had to spend 15 minutes having all 120 t-shirts removed, counted and recorded on video so the record was ratified by Guinness World Records. 

He had already taken the precaution of raising $800 through GoFundMe to ensure the record was approved within five days – easily exceeding his target and donating the excess to charity.

David Eliuk has a respectable half marathon personal best of 1:26:00 but he is now far better known as the guy who ran 13.1 miles in less than three hours wearing 120 t-shirts – just because he could and in his own words: “If I can inspire somebody to reach a goal or make somebody smile when they’re having a bad day by running down the road and looking like a goof, then I’ve done what I want to do.” 

I'm off to count my own t-shirt collection...

Image courtesy David Eliuk

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