When he toed the starting line at the Westlink M7 Blacktown Running Festival Half Marathon on July 31 near Sydney, Australia, Mike Tozer wore a pair of bright yellow Brooks T7 Racer racing flats that looked strangely out of place.
That’s because he was wearing a full, three-piece business suit: a white shirt and blue tie, a black vest and a royal blue jacket with matching pants.
Certainly, it was a sign the 36-year-old UK-born Hong Kong resident meant business.
Tozer was running in business garb to raise money and awareness for Fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic cause of autism. His 5-year-old son, Josiah, was born with the condition, and that motivation helped him set a new world record.
Running at 5:58/mile pace, Tozer crossed the line in 1:18:10, which took three seconds off the world record for running a half marathon in a business suit (set by Scott Forbes on April 3 in a race in the UK).
Tozer’s personal best without a suit is 1:16:46. It was his second attempt at the recording, having run 1:18:40 in May at the Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon.
“I checked my watch as I came into the stadium for the final lap and I had one minute 30 seconds left to beat the record,” he told the Blacktown Sun. “As I crossed the line the clock in the stadium ticked over to 1 hour, 18 minutes and 13 seconds, which meant I hadn’t done it. I collapsed on the floor thinking I had missed out.
“I checked with an official who confirmed my real time. It was a whirlwind of emotions.”