Being Best Dressed Pays With New Half Marathon World Record

ANTALYA, Turkey, March 17, 2016 Erkan Bacak unofficially set a new world record for running a half marathon in a suit at the 2016 International RUNATOLIA Marathon. His time of 1:22:27 beat the previous record by more than two minutes, placing him sixth in his age group and 23rd overall.

Erkan Bacak after finishing RUNATOLIA (PRNewsFoto/Kosu Dunyamiz, LLC)
Erkan Bacak after finishing RUNATOLIA (PRNewsFoto/Kosu Dunyamiz, LLC)

Bacak, 33, a former professional swimmer as well as a sports referee and trainer from Balikesir, Turkey did not intentionally set out to conquer the record. As part of a 13-man team sponsored by Turkish running company, Kosu Dunyamiz, the group dressed in suits as a way to create team unity and promote the sport of running in Turkey. Kosu Dunyamiz company founder and team organizer, Gulsum Rustemoglu, stated that the purpose of wearing the suits was to “create a unique running experience in Turkey.”
“I was hoping to beat 1:22 but really my goal was to enjoy the chance to run a race in a suit,” stated Bacak. Individuals along the route were surprised to see Bacak in his attire. One race volunteer erroneously mistook Bacak as a spectator and refused Bacak water at an aid station, which was for runners only. “That’s when I knew I was doing something really unique,” explained Bacak.
The previous two record holders wore specially made suits to allow for greater running movement or to maximize sweat wicking. Bacak’s suit had no such advantages and simply was a suit rented from a local store. Bacak expressed, “running in a suit was much more comfortable than I imagined. I surprisingly was not too hot.”
The Kosu Dunyamiz team celebrated with Bacak after the race. Rustemoglu explained, “we all felt so proud of him.” Bacak’s next goal is to have his time verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Kosu Dunyamiz, LLC is San Diego based company formed in September 2015, by Gulsum Rustemoglu. Its goal is to promote the sport of running in Turkey and across the world through virtual races and other running events.