Last month, Gihan Amarasiriwardena ran a half marathon in an hour and 22 minutes, a pretty impressive time for an amateur runner. But he pulled off an even more impressive feat at the Half MerryThon in Gloucester Sunday, running a 1:24:41 while wearing a full suit, and setting a Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon run in a suit in the process.
Running a half marathon in a suit wasn’t just a competitive bid to beat the previous record of 1:34:41 for Amarasiriwardena; it was also (appropriately) a business move.
He’s the co-founder of Ministry of Supply, an apparel startup he founded with two MIT classmates in 2011. The company is dedicated to using innovative designs and ideas to create formal wear that you can comfortably wear in any environment, from the office to the outdoors.
The suit he ran in, Ministry of Supply’s Aviator II, is marketed as being built around movement. According to Amarasiriwardena, the suit is made of a fabric that has the structure and crispness of traditional woven suiting, with the unrestricted knit construction of running apparel.
“I was a little stunned myself how close I came to my PR wearing the Aviator Suit,’’ Amarasiriwardena said. “The course was extremely flat, with no wind, so we couldn’t have had a better day.’’
In an interesting twist, the previous Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon in a suit of 1:34:41 was set earlier this fall by someone wearing a suit from custom suit company Indochino, which has a location less than half a mile down Newbury Street from Ministry of Supply’s brick and mortar location.
Whether this represents the start of a marathon suit war in the Back Bay remains to be seen.