While once reserved for obsessive runners and elite athletes, the contemporary marathon has become a place for people of all stripes. There are the costumed, the children, the brides and grooms, then women in labor, the centenarians, and even the backwards-jogging juggler.
And now behold ... the record-breaking running knitter.
On the morning of the Kansas City Marathon, David Babcock, 41, laced up his running shoes and grabbed his knitting needles and yarn, before stitching his way to the finish line.
The results of his efforts? Just over 12 feet of red, orange and purple scarf, and a spot in the Guinness World Record book for longest scarf knitted while running a marathon. All that in 5 hours, 48 minutes and 27 seconds.
The graphic design professor from the University of Central Missouri used a garter stitch, 30 stitches wide, and size 15 plastic needles, reports The Kansas City Star.
Babcock took up both running and knitting as separate hobbies about three years ago; but as anyone who has endued long training runs — and the knitting of long scarves — can attest, tedium inevitably sets in. Which is what led Babcock to combine the two.
"By putting the two activities together the time passes easier for both activities," according to his website. It takes the "mind off of the endless miles and makes knitting an active pursuit."
Through experimentation he learned that the yarn, which he keeps in a fanny pack, had to be acrylic since natural fibers absorb sweat. Babcock wraps the ever-increasing scarves around his waist, secured with a carabineer.
Oh, and we can add another component to the title: he is actually a fundraising knitting-runner. Babcock supports the Alzheimer's Association Heart of America Chapter and is encouraging people to make donations. (For more information, visit Babcock's website, donotstaple.com.
See Babcock in all of his knitting-running glory in the video below:
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