Lifestyle & Belief

Kenichi Ito, 29, monkey enthusiast, is world's fastest runner on four legs


Kenichi Ito is seen crossing the street in this still image taken from a Reuters video report.

A Japanese monkey enthusiast in suburban Tokyo has been named the world’s fastest human runner on four legs after developing a style of running based on the movements of the African Patas monkey, according to Reuters.

The news agency says Kenichi Ito, 29, has been developing the running style for over a decade and this was recognized recently by Guinness World Records.

More from GlobalPost: Virtual monkeys on typewriters re-create works of Shakespeare

"You know, my face and body kind of look like a monkey, so from a young age everybody used to tease me, saying 'monkey, monkey,'" Ito was quoted as saying in an interview. He sat beneath a large poster of a chimpanzee.

The International Business Times published this Reuters video report on Ito:

According to Reuters, Ito said the taunts of his peers only encouraged him to adopt more monkey-like behavior: “Somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits. When I saw a monkey that could run fast, I knew I'd found it - and from that point on I practiced running like a monkey every day,” he was quoted as saying.

Guinness records that the fastest time “to run 100 meters [328 feet] on all fours is 18.58 seconds and was set by Kenichi Ito (Japan) at Setagaya Kuritsu Sogo Undojyo, Tokyo, Japan, on 13 November 2008.”

It does not say whether anyone else had ever set a record for Ito to beat. But Ito can be seen posing with his certificate here.

More from GlobalPost: The Argentine economy's fuzzy math problem

According to Reuters, to avoid the police who misunderstand him, Ito has had to seek solitude.

"In the streets around here I get stopped by the police, so I went up into the mountains for about a month for a kind of four-legged training camp," he was quoted as saying, adding that a hunter once took a shot at him. The news agency published a video report on Ito here.