Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

With minimal furniture inside his house, Kelly Gneiting uses the open space to complete his "shiko" sumo exercise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

On the Navajo reservation of Fort Defiance, Ariz., Kelly Gneiting embarks on an eight-mile run as he continues to train for the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon. The 2008 LA Marathon was his first race of any kind. With almost no training, he made it through the course -- stopping, sitting, walking for the final half. Still, he finished, about half a day after the first runners were done.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Gneiting does his daily sumo workout. In 2005, three years after his first match, he won a U.S. Sumo Federation national title. He repeated in 2006 and again in 2007.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Exhaustion kicks in. Kelly Gneiting has trained for the marathon with a zeal he didn’t have before, taking only Sundays off.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Kelly Gneiting at home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Gneiting embarks on a run on the Arizona reservation where he lives. He works as a statistician at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Gneiting says with his marathon goal, he wants his wife and kids to be proud, and he wants his kids to see that being big doesn’t mean dreams have to die.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Gneiting walks home after a workout through the dimly lighted streets of his neighborhood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Gneiting in his bedroom. He says he hopes his marathon efforts provide inspiration to the world but, more so, to those closest to him, his family.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

The sound of the howling wind echos within the empty room as Kelly Gneiting prepares for the work day. With his paycheck going directly back to his family in Idaho, Gneiting puts little emphasis on material things.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

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With a trace of humor and no small amount of pride, Kelly Gneiting, 40, calls himself the Fat Man. He weighs 405 pounds. Even so, he is an athlete, and he is hardly shy about saying how good he is. “I honestly think I’m one of the best athletes in the world,” he says. The Fat Man is a three-time national champion sumo wrestler. Now he has willed himself into something far more unlikely: He has become a long-distance runner. On March 20, at the 26th Los Angeles Marathon, he wants to set a new Guinness World Record.

Read Kurt Streeter’s story

9 Comments

  1. March 18, 2011, 11:07 am

    Congratulations to you and your show of determination. This is very inspiring! And should you get any body-snark comments, pay them no heed. It takes a great deal of courage to do what you are doing, more than some folks will ever know. Kudos to you and hang in there. You have people cheering you on!

    By: muyfifi
  2. March 21, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Congratulations!! You truly are an inspiration to all over sized people. You set out to accomplish a goal that for some would have defeated them in the end. But with your strong will and determination you have truly succeeded. Congrats again and good luck with your future goals!!!

    By: vonevan@yahoo.com
  3. March 21, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Way to go Kelly…..I am proud of you!!!!

    By: fieta@ida.net
  4. March 21, 2011, 2:12 pm

    WELL DONE!
    CONTINUED SUCCESS.

    By: OPERATOR147
  5. March 21, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Congratulations!!! What you did setting a goal and becoming a long distance runner has set inspiration for other over size individuals to go out for their goals and not be afraid to accomplish that goal set. Good job!!!!!

    By: dieselken24@yaho.com
  6. March 22, 2011, 7:30 am

    Wow! Those are beautiful pictures! Congratulations, Kelly!

    By: Zen
  7. March 25, 2011, 12:00 pm

    26 miles in 10 hours means you completed a 26 mile walk….averaging ~2.6 miles an hour.

    This guy is not an athlete. He is type II obese.

    By: clarish@iastate.edu
  8. March 25, 2011, 10:24 pm

    And what are the people who finished more than 2 hours after him? Marathons are about endurance. Anyone capable of sticking one out deserves to be congratulated.

    Also, "type II obese"? Seriously? Do you have any concept of health or fitness?

    By: Mae
  9. March 29, 2011, 12:37 am

    He means sumo-wrestling, not running

    By: emm

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