For many, running is straight up gruelling. The thought of jogging and sprinting for long distances while you sweat profusely is a major hell to the no. But for others like Nicholas Mizera, running is a passion. And for an upcoming race in Toronto, Mizera decided he wanted to change up his running style. The challenge? To break the Guinness World Record for fastest half-marathon in a suit.
Last weekend, at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the 27-year-old Huffington Canada blogs editor ditched the split shorts and singlet and took on the 21.1 kilometers in a custom Indotech suit from Indochino. To make history, Mizera needed to smash the current mark of 1:39:50, all while looking incredibly sharp.
He outran it at a time of 1:35:48.
In a recent interview with Running Magazine, Nicholas explained that it was his girlfriend who convinced him to get suited up for the big race and to challenge the world record. But it was only a matter of time before he combined his two passions of fashion and running together.
The editor, who runs style blog The Gentleman Journalist, was accompanied by his training partners from Pace & Mind at the race as his official pacers and like expected, he got a few surprising looks thrown his way by spectators on the sidelines. "Everybody loved it!" Nicholas told us. "The half-marathon has the distinction of having spectators for almost the entire course, so I heard a lot of "Go suit guy, go!" I won't soon forget the cheering stations organized by the Parkdale Road Runners (they threw confetti at me) and Tribe Fitness, either."
The Indochino "lifeproof" suit, which comes with sweat-wicking features, enhanced breathability and wrinkle-proof fabrication (very important), was made to stand up to all those sweat beads and for all types of weather systems that might roll around on race day. For the big day, Mizera paired the suit with a sleek black bow tie and white pocket square (and headband for the chilly morning).
And even though the thought of running in a suit sounds like a daunting task to most, Mizera told us he was pretty comfortable throughout the race. "Running in the suit was a lot like running dressed in fall mid-layers. The weather was very cooperative (around 0 C at the start line) so I was actually a little cold for the first few kilometres."
The only issue the runner had with the suit came after the race. "I did notice some chafing after the race on my knees," he explain, "I [had] some missing hair on my kneecaps and on my neck where my collar was buttoned up."
And if you're wondering, no, Nicholas did not run in dress shoes. He opted for New Balance 1500s. "The first time I ran in them was Harry's Spring Run Off this past March, which was was also the first time I ran in a suit. Coincidentally, I'm retiring them after my record run. They certainly carried me through one hell of a season!"
So what was it like for Nicholas to break a Guiness World Record? "Breaking the record has been very humbling. I may have put in the hard work during my training, but at the same time I am the product of the support of my teammates, my girlfriend, my friends, family and colleagues. They kept me going -- literally and figuratively -- every step of the way. Without them there would be no victory."
After checking off a major goal, Nicholas hopes to earn a Boston or New York qualifying time next year or two. As for his world record? "If someone breaks my record, though, I'll definitely try to defend it if I can. I know many guys (and gals) who could suit up tomorrow and beat it quite handily, so it's pretty exciting."