Amongst the more traditional ambitions, however, you’ll find a portion of the population who want to go down in the history books for more unusual endeavours. Take Adrian Leonard, for example. Although the Belfast native has achieved plenty in his professional life – having trained as a pilot with the RAF before becoming a commercial long-haul airline pilot – there was a certain unique satisfaction in achieving a fairly unusual long-held goal: holding the record for ‘Most Rubik’s Cubes Solved While Riding a Unicyle’.
It all began in the 1980s, when two fads of the time collided; one of them was the tricky multi-coloured puzzle, which he quickly learned to solve in a minute.
“The other craze at the time was riding a BMX bike, but my dad was always someone who liked the out-of-the-ordinary – so he suggested a unicycle instead,” he explains. “Mastering the unicycle is a painful, unforgiving experience, but with a healthy dose of resilience – and an acceptance that you’ll get bruises on your bruises – you’ll see it through.”
Leonard first struck upon the idea of combining both skills when he entered the Noel Edmonds-hosted Saturday Superstore Superstar competition; he didn’t win, but it set the wheels (or wheel, perhaps more aptly) in motion for future attempts at setting the record, including one on a trip to San Francisco more than 30 years later. Documented in an amusing book he contributed to called Throwing Fruit at Drug Dealers: Tales of an Irish Pilot, he later contacted Guinness World Records about having a serious crack at it at home in Northern Ireland. He says that he “wasn’t really expecting a response”, but when Guinness got back to him with various criteria, he had to go for it.
“It took me 35 minutes to complete 28 Rubik’s Cubes -and the only reason I stopped was because I was going numb around the nether regions,” he says, laughing. “Thankfully, everything returned to normal shortly afterwards. We sent in the video footage and a few months later I received a certificate confirming that I had set a new Guinness World Record and it was mentioned in the Book a few years later.”
Leonard’s record stood for four years, but has since been beaten several times since – although he has no desire to reclaim it. “I tip my hat to those who have tried it but I have no desire to try and beat the current record of 250,” he says, firmly shaking his head. “I don’t think my nether regions would ever recover!”
Michael Cotter knows what it’s like to be dead-set on a goal – and the literal pain that comes with achieving it. In 2009, the 36-year-old Dubliner beat the record for ‘Most High-Fives in a 24-Hour Period’ when he slapped the palms of no less than 5,000 people at Dublin’s Festival of World Cultures (all captured in a documentary called High5umentary that’s available to watch on Vimeo). Cotter, whose record tied in with a charity endeavour to generate clean drinking water for Unicef, had become known amongst his friends for high-fiving random strangers on nights out – so it stood to reason that he would aim to be immortalised for that very record.
“I did dumbbell curls and push-ups on my knuckles for months,” he says of the preparation. “I got into pretty decent shape, actually. The main training, though, was just to high-five people all the time – which I was doing, anyway. I’d be known as a very enthusiastic person who loves having quick interactions with strangers – so it was a perfect fit.”
There were various criteria in place, such as all high-fives must be given at shoulder height; he could not move from his designated spot to go in search of high-fives; he could not switch hands and he could not high-five the same person twice.
“I remember vividly the point when I thought that it was hurting earlier than I’d expected – it was after 19,” he chuckles. “I don’t have it in me to throw them gently. It was a rough ride, but I took such pride from the number of people walking away shaking their hands in pain. And they only got one – I did this 5,000 times! My hand was swollen up horribly.”
Cotter describes the day as “right up there with the best days of [his] whole life”, but says that he has no interest in repeating the feat – even though his record was not officially recognised by Guinness, despite him adhering to the criteria, because he failed to get the forms notarised. And he has no plans to trump the current record of 14,607.
“From about 3,000 onwards, it was happening regularly that I was collapsing in pain. I was worried that I’d do some serious damage to myself,” he says. “It would have been nice to get exactly double the previous record, which was my plan, but whatever. The previous record holder congratulated me on breaking his record – that was good enough for me.”
It seems that pain and charity are recurring themes when it comes to beating records. Just ask Galway native Fiona Nolan, who set the record for ‘Most Socks Worn on One Foot’ in 2011, raising over €1,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and making her the envy – or at least earning her the befuddled admiration – of her colleagues by squeezing 152 socks onto her size-3 foot.
“I was the one who actually did the deed, but it was a team effort within the company,” she admits. “We had a sports and social committee, and they were looking for creative ideas for fundraising – so they decided that they’d come up with an idea to maybe break a Guinness World Record. They looked at what options were there, and decided they’d go after this one – and because I happened to have the smallest foot in the company, they asked me would I do it.”
Never one to shirk a challenge, Nolan says that she undertook it with low expectations – especially after a trial run at home the weekend before went badly. “After about 15 socks, my foot started to hurt,” she laughs. “So I had no expectations whatsoever, but I think it was just the atmosphere and the whole company gathered around watching; once you start, you keep going.”
As you might imagine, things got tougher on the day as the challenge progressed. “It was painful towards the end, particularly the pressure on my foot,” she admits. “I had to put the socks on myself, but the plan had been to let other people take them off, but I actually couldn’t let anybody near my foot. I walked around for hours in my bare feet and eventually it felt okay – but the pain was quite intense at the end.”
Her record stood for several years before being beaten in 2016 by Polish man Kamil Kulik’s 184 socks on one foot – but she is not interested in repeating the feat. “It was good fun and we raised some money for charity, but no,” she says, shaking her head. “I’ve no desire whatsoever to do it again.”
Unlike the others, Dave Browne describes the thrill of setting a new record as “an addiction” – and he should know, considering he’s already broken three of them. The Dublin musician, who has lived in Las Vegas for the past four years, first made the Guinness Book of World Records with his ‘Longest marathon playing guitar’ stint – clocking up a remarkable 114 hours, 6 minutes and 30 seconds at Dublin’s Temple Bar pub in June 2010.
With a clause that meant a 5-minute break for every hour that he played, he got through by playing for 10-hour blocks with 50 minutes of rest to nap, eat and yes – use the bathroom.
“It was tough,” he admits. “The reason I did it at the time was for PR, because it was in the recession; nobody was recording, nobody was touring; it was hell for Irish bands. But afterwards… I mean, I rang up a pub in Norway looking for a gig, saying, ‘We’re coming over in a few months, we’re looking for a gig’ and they said, ‘Who are you?’. I said ‘Dave Browne’ and the guy on the phone said, ‘Oh, you’re the guy that did the world record, aren’t you? We’d love to have you here!’ So it was a monster PR move. And the coverage it got was crazy; I had a mate of mine that texted me and said, ‘You’re after making the news in Venezuela!'”
As he approached the previously held record of 100 hours, Browne was feeling tired but wired – until the news was broken to him that a guitarist in India had just done 112 hours. “I was fully awake; I’d trained with Karl Henry, I’d stopped drinking for three months, I’d done everything right,” he recalls, laughing. “The only reason I was disappointed was that the party that was going on around me was killing me!”
Even so, he says that he could have kept going – “but I purposely stopped it. There’s lots of rules like ‘You can’t play the same song within four hours’, but I also wanted someone else to go and break it.”
Almost eight years later, his record still stands. “Lots of people have been on to me, saying they’re going to break it; one guy in Nashville was giving me loads of grief, but he was carried to hospital after 44 hours,” he chuckles. “But I’d have no problem doing it again – it was great fun.”
Since his relocation to Vegas, Browne has broken two subsequent other records: one for organising and participating in ‘The Longest Continuous Concert’ (since broken), which lasted 15 days and 10 hours, and the other earlier this summer with his band The Black Donnellys, who played 60 gigs in all 50 states of the USA in just 34 days (they had initially planned for 40 days). He freely admits that “one nearly killed us”. “I can only tell you that I was drunk and hungover in every state,” he laughs. “But we had a film crew with us who followed us the whole way, so there’ll be a documentary about that that’ll be coming out eventually, too.”
It comes as no surprise whatsoever to hear that Browne has more ideas for breaking records up his sleeve. “I don’t believe in the whole ‘it’s the participation that counts’ – that’s never been my thing,” he laughs. “But yes, there are two other records that I want to do. One I’ve just started putting the feelers out for, and it’s gonna be the biggest one ever – and there’s another one that I want to do by myself, which is the ‘Longest Guitar Solo’. I think it’s 14 hours, so I’m gonna go for 24 hours. Sure, that’s a soundcheck for me,” he chuckles. “Well, there’s no point in starting something without finishing it, is there?”
- Donald Trump is 'a racist, conman and cheat' former lawyer Michael Cohen claims to Congress
- Paul Whelan's twin opens up about Russia spy allegations, citizenship
- 'I absolutely don’t think he is a spy': Paul Whelan's twin talk about Russia allegations
- For 150 years, the Courier Journal has fought for justice and fairness
- The Truth About Green Book
|Watch Out for the Idiot Behind Me Magnet 10" X 3" (check at Amazon)||4.0|
|samsung s5 The design of the popular,Is suitable for the young people pursuit of fashion. (check at Amazon)||2.6|
|RND Apple Certified Lightning to USB dock for the iPhone - Compatible with some cases including rugged (check at Amazon)||3.2|
|GROM Audio BMWSSB1 for Select BMW Bluetooth Car Adapter Kit - behind the radio (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|samsung s5 The design of the cool,Is suitable for the young people pursuit of fashion. (check at Amazon)||2.3|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish 'Fear The Irish' Cell Phone Hard Protection Case for iPhone 5c (check at Amazon)||1.0|
|Fear the Irish Chevron Sports Black Plastic Cover Case for iPhone 6 Plus (5.5 inch) (check at Amazon)||3.0|
|C. Crane Company CAK Accessory Kit for the CC Witness Digital MP3 Recorder/Player (check at Amazon)||4.8|
|Dear Karma I Have A List Of People You Missed Case / Cover For The Iphone 5G / 5S / Iphone SE (2016) By Atomic Market (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|NARVEL FELTS - one run for the roses ABC 1115 (LP vinyl record) (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|The Five People You Meet in Heaven $9.05 (check at Amazon)||4.6|
|Berlin: A Concert for the People (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Alabama: For the Record - 41 Number One Hits Live, October 10, 1998 Las Vegas Hilton (check at Amazon)||4.9|
|Britney: For The Record (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Justice for the Poor: Love God. Serve People. Change the World. (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|IDIOT PROOF- Funny Office Stamp-For The Stupid People In Your Life-From The Gag (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Stuart Weitzman for the Cool People Zipit Neutral Color Size 9 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|It's a Great Day for the Irish: Great Songs (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|For The Fans - Live Concert Performances And A World Premiere Release (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|For the Good People (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|Ancient Music for the Irish Harp (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|For the Night People (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|If It Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Smoothest Tunes for the Coolest People (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Sophisticated Lady / For The Night People (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|This Is For The Night People (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Guide for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Free (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|EverSafe All Natural Mosquito Control Green Refillable Pyramid with 1 Refill Pack, Safe for the Earth, People and Pets (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|EverSafe All Natural Mosquito Control Refill Packet, Safe for the Earth, People and Pets (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Hex Sign: Dutch Irish Hex 8": Symbolizes good luck for the Irish (check at Amazon)||0.0|
For the record: Meet the Irish people behind some very peculiar world records have 2312 words, post on www.independent.ie at October 13, 2018. This is cached page on USA Posts. If you want remove this page, please contact us.