LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 42-year-old runner dressed as Elvis won the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday night, setting a record for the fastest marathon run by someone dressed as “The King.”
Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virginia, finished in 2 hours, 38 minutes and 4 seconds late Sunday – a feat he accomplished while wearing a black wig in an Elvis-style pompadour, gold sunglasses and a white Elvis jumpsuit with gold sequins.
“I wasn’t sure how the suit would be, but the suit was actually pretty awesome,” Wardian said. “You get this sucker wet, it just stays cool.”
With his finish, Wardian broke a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon run by someone dressed as Elvis.
The previous record was set by his friend Ian Sharman in 2009. Sharman completed a Seattle marathon while dressed as Elvis in 2 hours, 42 minutes and 52 seconds.
Wardian told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he felt like he was in good shape halfway through and then had some fatigue. He took the lead around mile 22 or 23.
“With two miles to go I was pretty confident,” Wardian said. “And then I was just trying to run to win and then also to make sure I got the record.”
A number of other runners dressed as Elvis and other characters, including Spider-Man, dinosaurs and Forrest Gump.
It was the 50th running of a race that evolved from a flat, wind-swept desert event in 1967 to a glitzy and music-filled attraction for tens of thousands of participants.
Organizers said more than 45,000 runners from every U.S. state and 83 foreign countries registered for this year’s evening marathon and half-marathon on the neon-lit Las Vegas Strip.
Chelsey Leighton of Lewiston, Idaho, won the women’s marathon in 3:12:11.
William Kibor and Elvin Kibet, both of Kenya, won the men’s and women’s half-marathons.