For the sixth consecutive year, Guinness World Records has collaborated with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) to provide determined runners with on-the-Finish-Line world record verification on Sunday, October 16th.
This year marks the most records ever being attempted at the STWM, with twelve incredible participants looking to earn a place in record-breaking history, across both the full and half marathon events.
An official Guinness World Records adjudicator will be on-site at the race to verify on the spot whether or not the pre-registered record applicants were successful in their attempts at glory.
Here’s a quick look at some of the attempts taking place at this year’s race, many of which are new categories:
Fastest marathon pushing a pram (male)
Calum Neff, 31, Houston, Texas, USA
Having just achieved the Fastest half marathon pushing a pram (male) a mere eight months ago back in February at the Katy Half Marathon in Texas, USA, Calum is looking to test his limits and challenge the existing marathon record.
If successful in his attempt, Calum will bring this competitive title back to the STWM, as it was the first Guinness World Records title ever achieved at the STWM, initially set in 2004 by Toronto-Beaches resident, Michal Kapral, running a time of 2:49:44.
A runner and a father, Calum looks up to fathers who have accomplished similar feats and specifically chose this record category so he can share his passion with his daughters.
Fastest marathon in a suit (female)
Jade O'Sullivan, 35, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Although the Australian native had dreams of running the marathon dressed as a ship with a working pulley system, sails and all, after further investigation and much debate with friends, she’s since settled on a sharper look. Attempting her first Guinness World Records title alongside her friend Suzy Prosser, she’s quite excited and is hoping to achieve some bragging rights!
In her own words: “I’m excited for the possibility to say that at one point in my life, even if just for a day, I was the best (recorded) at something. There is something so incredibly powerful to know that you pushed yourself to achieve something that takes time, hard work and dedication and to know that, for however briefly it may stand, there was a record of it somewhere. I also hope to be able to say that it is difficult to do a marathon, let alone in a 3-piece suit. The heat in my few training runs so far has been incredible.”
Time to beat: 4:00:00 (this is a new record category)
Fastest marathon wearing a shalwar kameez (male)
Prakash Banisetty, 38, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Another newcomer to Guinness World Records attempts, Prakash will be the first person to ever attempt this record. A part of his heritage and something that reminds him of many happy memories, Prakash hopes that running in his shalwar kameez will raise awareness about this style of dress in the Western world. Additionally, he’s running to raise awareness about water conservation and the importance of providing clean drinking water for the less fortunate.
Prakash has been fascinated with Guinness World Records since he was a child and hopes his attempt will inspire others.
On achieving a Guinness World Records title, Prakash said, “It will help me to spread awareness for a social cause, while also promoting the benefits of running. I personally believe a person needs to stay fit to lead a good life. It would be something I’d cherish for a lifetime and would also give me a sense of achievement.”
Fastest half marathon dressed in motocross gear (female)
Bridget Burns, 34, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fresh off the heels of achieving the Fastest half marathon in an animal costume - female at last year’s STWM, with this attempt, Bridget, a three-time record holder, is hoping her attempt will help break the stigma that comes with being a female athlete in traditionally male dominated sports. Her costume is inspired by Jolene Van Vugt, a professional dirt-bike rider with “Nitro Circus Live,” who achieved three Guinness World Records titles in 2008: Longest motorcycle backflip (female), Longest three-person motorcycle ramp jump and Longest tandem motorcycle backflip.
Bridget will also be running to raise money for Inner City Outreach, a charity for at-risk youth in one of Toronto’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Fastest half marathon dressed as a swimmer (male)
Robert Winckler, 51, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Fifty-one-year-old Robert has been running for over 33 years, in which time he has completed an astounding 50 marathons and over 25 half marathons. Now for the first time, he’s decided to add an extra challenge to his race and go for a Guinness World Records title. So why a swimming costume? Besides running, it’s Robert’s second favorite sport.
It’s been a dream of Robert’s to hold a coveted GWR title and he would love to attempt more in the future. With this attempt, Robert hopes to inspire others to set goals and go after them.
Time to beat: 2:00:00 (this is a new record category)
Fastest half marathon dressed as a witch (female)
Suzy Prosser, 34, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Following in the footsteps of her friend and fellow running crew member, Jade, who will be attempting the Fastest marathon in a suit by a female, this will be Suzy’s first ever attempt at a Guinness World Records title. Suzy chose this record category as a show of solidarity and for the fun of putting the costume together. Originally from Worcester, United Kingdom, this is Jade’s third half marathon this year, and the fifth since she started running three years ago, one of which was the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
On what it would mean to achieve a Guinness World Records title, Suzy said: “As a child I remember watching the Guinness World Records TV show with awe and fascination, often wondering which amazing feat I could attempt. Alas, I didn’t have any unique skills to set me apart from anyone else. But now I’ve been inspired by all the other runners who have achieved records to make this attempt. Although I’m not the fastest runner, the costume adds an interesting dimension to the half marathon challenge and I’m hoping I can inspire other runners to achieve their goals. And whenever I think about how hard this record attempt is going to be I just stopped to think how amazing it would be to be able to tell people that I’m a Guinness World Records holder.”