More than 15,000 runners participated in the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon on Feb. 16, including a priest in a cassock and a stylist who changed outfits every 4 miles.

Both trained to set Guinness World Records during the Sunday race. One underlying trait they have in common is a passion for their community.

“This is a part of what we are curating,” High Events communications manager William Dyson said. “Stuff like this is what keeps the culture and vibe alive in keeping Austin weird.”

A local priest’s love for running

Local priest and former Army chaplain David Peters’ devotion for running grew after returning from Iraq.

“I ran a lot when I got back,” Peters said. “I felt love for God when I ran, and at the time I didn’t feel love anywhere else in my life other than running.”

About a year after his return, Peters gathered group members to meet at various spots around Pflugerville to pray and study scripture.

“It’s a spiritual discipline just like running,” Peters said. “It may be painful at first, but knowing someone is going to be there and I won’t be alone gives me that extra push to get up and just go do it.”

Peters said he finds evidence of his faith reflected in his running, especially in the group he trains with at Rogue Running.

"They (Rogue Running) have been such a neat community to run in,“ Peters said.

Running the marathon in a floor-length traditional Episcopal priest garment, Peters checked in at 4:06:50 on Sunday, just 10 minutes under the record.

“All the things in my life — Iraq, my marriage, raising kids — they all came together when I crossed the finish line,” Peters said. “It was a moment of pure love, joy and beauty, and when thinking about it now, I’m just smiling.”

Others have set Guinness World Records for fastest marathons dressed as monks, nuns and even elves. As for Peters, he wanted to be the first to set a new one for the fastest 26.2 miles in a cassock.

"I love running, I love being a priest and love being apart of the church,“ Peters said. ”To bring these two together just came naturally for me.“

After submitting the application, Peters heard back from Guinness World Records on Valentine’s Day letting him know the submission for a new record had been received.

I applied for the record weeks ago and will now submit a packet of witness statements and pics pic.twitter.com/ADAchiPgOe

— David W. Peters (@dvdpeters) February 16, 2020

Seamstress and friend at Peter’s church Amy McDonald Chapman altered Peter’s cassock’s collar, making it more breathable.

"Generally, priest collars are bulky and hard on the neck,“ Peters said. ”Amy took on the project and made my cassock completely special to where it wouldn’t chafe my neck.“

Peters had to miss his own service to run in the marathon, but he said in the end it was worth it.

“It was a holy moment for me to take a day off to run,” Peters said. “What better way to celebrate resurrection than with running in the Austin Marathon?”

Vintage stylist and his passion project

Ugandan native and vintage stylist Drake Muyinza changed outfits every 4 miles of the 26.2-mile course in order to break the Guinness World Record for the longest fashion runway.

“I knew it was going to be a bold move to do it during the marathon, but I figured, why not?” Muyinza said.

The current record is 2 miles, according to the Austin Marathon website.

“When I heard about what Drake wanted to do, I wanted to help out in every way possible to ensure they had what they needed in order for it be a success,” Dyson said.

The goal of the project was to showcase the work Muyinza and other vintage vendors do.

View this post on Instagram

Austin’s marathon should be as stylish, creative and beautiful as this crazy city itself!!! @drq.m is running all 26. 2 miles of the @ascensionseton @austinmarathon and changing in to a whole new wardrobe every 4 miles to achieve the @guinnessworldrecords for LONGEST FASHION RUNWAY! Looks from: @rebvintagestyling @wingtipbetty @oddballlvintage @sewbantu @moultonatx @bleachblackvintage Afterparty at @Henhouseatx First 50 racers to come to Hen House with medal get a free @wgbrandy cocktail!! Illustration by @naturallymyka Huge thanks to @austinmarathon @highfiveevents @wgbrandy @metrocyclepedicabs

A post shared by REB (@rebvintagestyling) on Feb 14, 2020 at 2:08am PST

“By running and pairing it with clothes, I felt confident and comfortable enough to do it and just decided, why not make a show out of it?” Muyinza said.

When Muyinza submitted his application, the idea of possibly breaking a record didn’t set in until he completed six months of training for the race.

“I didn’t really think a lot about what it meant at the moment,” Muyinza said. “Once it got closer to the marathon, my team and I started to realize the record would be a great title for the project.”

For Muyinza, the record was more about highlighting the community he discovered when he moved to Austin two years ago.

“This community allowed me to fully experiment and be myself,” Muyinza said. “It was all about being whoever you wanted to be and having fun with it all while creating an art.”

Each look was styled with clothes from local vintage sellers, reflecting the passion project and role he created when he started his vintage company, REB Vintage Style.

“Everyone was on board when I came to them with the idea,” Muyinza said. “I wanted each of them to have the chance to tell their story through their clothing.”

Muyinza completed the marathon at 6:18:05, finishing off the course by breaking into a dance routine.

“Right before crossing the finish line, I thought to myself — this is the beginning of a journey,” Muyinza said. “It was the start of a new chapter in my life, and accomplishing this was so amazing and incredible.”

Applications for Peters and Muyinza are still pending and can take up to 12 weeks for review.