Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY
October 28. 2012 - For most people, running a marathon seems overwhelming. Running it in a 40-pound suit? Impossible.
Rocket City Rednecks star Travis Taylor disagrees.
While it was a little harder than he anticipated, the engineer made it across the finish line in Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in about 6 hours and 15 minutes. He wore a (relatively) lightweight, full-body armor suit that his team designed to help with the loss-of-limb-rate for U.S. troops.
National Geographic Channel's Rednecks follows a family of NASA rocket scientists from Huntsville, Ala., as they try to solve real-world problems with their advanced physics and engineering backgrounds.
The inspiration for this project came from a conversation with a Marine, he says. "Members of the armed forces use armor on their torso, but they don't use full-body armor that covers their limbs because they are afraid it limits movement."
The suit has been blown up, shot at, stabbed and beaten. So far, it's proven to be pretty indestructible. Sunday posed the mobility test. "It was long but I am finished and I am just tickled to death about it. I am thrilled," Taylor says. "The suit held up great. I learned a few things I'll modify."
Before the race, he was confident. "There is no try, there is only do or do not," he said. "So we are going to do it." His 8-year-old daughter, Calista, was a little more skeptical. "I don't know, 26 miles," she says with a smile.
After he finished? "For now I am going to revel in my victory and drink a couple of beers," Taylor said. "Then we will try to beat this hurricane home."
The entire process was being filmed for a special episode to premiere during the show's second season, which begins Nov. 29 on National Geographic Channel.