Aug 10, 201210:28 AMOutside Columbia
Come Outside And Play, Columbia!
Dressed For Success
Steven Mankofsky, a 22-year-old University of Missouri MBA student from St. Louis, will run the Heart of America Marathon on Sept. 3. And, there’s a chance he’ll also make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
No, Mankofsky, is not attempting to break Patrick Makau’s world-record time of 2:03:38. Instead, he is attempting to become the fastest man to run 26.2 miles wearing a business suit.
“I’ll be wearing a full suit consisting of a jacket, waistcoat, shirt, tie and dress pants,” he explains. “All the clothing, excluding my belt and shoes, was purchased at The Resale Shop in St. Louis for $27.”
The current record for a suit-clad marathoner is 3:24:46 . Mankofsky is confident he’ll be faster, despite HOA’s reputation for unbearable humidity and tough hills — and the fact he only ran a 3:36:46 on the same course last year.
Regardless of his time, the results will be good: Mankofsky is using his run to raise money for The Food Bank for Central & Northeastern Missouri. “I have volunteered for The Food Bank before and always have had good experiences,” he says. “Poverty and hunger are major problems within the Columbia area, although they generally are silent problems.”
Mankofsky took a break from training (sans suit) to tell us about his fundraising efforts and his marathon training:
How did you find out that there’s a Guinness record for fastest marathon run in a suit?
My friends and I were discussing Guinness records, and I thought it would be interesting to see what I could attempt. I perused their website and found this record.
How does Guinness verify this record?
Guinness sends out a representative to verify the record.
What makes you think you can break it?
The record is very breakable. However, my impetus for running in the race is not to solely attempt to break the record; I am also interested in raising funds for The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri in the process.
Why attempt this at Heart of America and not a cooler or easier race?
I am attempting to break this record at The Heart of America Marathon, the hardest non-mountainous marathon in the United States, instead of an easier, more bearable race for several reasons. One, I love challenges and I believe this race provides a considerable challenge. I am also a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, so the race is convenient to me in terms of travel.
There’s a good chance we’ll still be experiencing brutal weather on Labor Day. How do you plan to battle the heat while wearing a dark, heavy suit?
Being from St. Louis, and having experience running in the heat there, I am used to humid, sticky weather. I doubt the weather in Columbia with provide too much of a challenge during the marathon, as the temperature hasn’t gotten past 80 degrees in the past 12 years from 6 a.m. (the start of the race) until 9 a.m. (24 minutes before my goal time). My suit is a light color. I also plan to rip out all the inner lining of the suit, cut the sleeves off my undershirt, and make other adjustments and alterations to the suit and clothing to make it as light and as bearable as possible.
Last year you ran HOA in 3:36:46. What’s your plan to shave more than 12 minutes off this time?
Last year was the first time I ran in the HOA marathon. I was not prepared fully for the hills. I also experienced extreme muscle cramping around mile 18 which severally limited my mobility. For this race, I will be running much slower initially, which should make the race much more bearable. In addition, I am training on the major hills of the race before the marathon and running the harder parts of the race beforehand to train.
Do you train in your suit?
I do not train in a suit. I have run in the suit once during a speed workout when temperatures hovered around 100 degrees.
You’re going to wear normal running shoes, but are you wearing any running apparel under the suit?
I don't plan on wearing wicking attire at this point in time.
What’s your running background?
I ran distance in high school and participate in the University of Missouri Running Club. We compete against other running clubs locally and nationally in distance races (usually 8Ks).
It’s great that you’re doing this for a good cause. How’d you choose to support the Food Bank?
Since The Food Bank does not get funds from the government, it depends on its funds in large part from charitable donations. In addition, The Food Bank is extremely transparent and financially accountable as far as charities go.
How much money have you raised so far? What’s your total goal?
I do not know how much money is raised so far, as the vast majority of people send their donations for my racing effort directly to The Food Bank. However, they keep track internally of all the donations pertaining to my pursuit. As far as a goal goes, I am interested in raising as much money as possible. Merely $1 provides 15 pounds of food for people in need. I am also matching all donations with my personal funds.
The Heart of America marathon starts at the Hearnes Center at 6 a.m. on Sept. 3. The race finishes at the intersection of Seventh Street and Broadway. ETA for the first runner is approximately 8:45 a.m., although the course is open until 1 p.m. Visit HeartofAmericaMarathon.com for details.
For a brief history of the race, check out “Still Running After All These Years,” by Christina Ingoglia.