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Thousands of people around the globe come together every year on Guinness World Records (GWR) Day with one goal in their sights – to become an official Guinness World Records title holder. With this year’s theme announced as Spirit of Adventure, we sat down with our Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, to discuss how organisations can embrace their adventurous side and be celebrated on GWR Day.
"Guinness World Records Day is a chance for anyone – individuals, couples, families, schools, scout groups, businesses and even whole communities or countries – to have a go a breaking or setting a world record," says Glenday. "No-one else in the world offers the same kind of recognition of achievement that GWR does, so why not be part of it, be celebrated as something superlative… and maybe even get in the famous GWR book!"
Record-breaking is all about pushing the limits, whether it be physically, mentally, creatively or all of the above. This year's theme, Spirit of Adventure, has been inspired by the sheer number of applications GWR has received from people looking to challenge themselves. Although everyone's definition of adventure is different, from an epic round-the-world journey to perfecting a skill – the perfect record is waiting to be discovered by you and your organisation.
“There are plenty of records that commercial organizations can have a go at to indulge their spirit of adventure! It really depends on your company and what it is you do.
"If you make robots, build one that can climb the steps of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in the fastest time. If you’re a vehicle company, you could use one of your products to attempt a record such as the farthest arrow fired and caught in a moving car or farthest golf shot caught in a moving car.
"Jaguar used their F-PACE to achieve the highest loop-the-loop in a car, so why not take a leaf out of their book and do a mega ramp jump or a fuel-efficient journey? Or go for a triple loop-the-loop?!
"If you don’t think your product is a good fit for adventurous record-breaking, what about your staff? Could your team to attempt the fastest time to climb the height of Everest using gym equipment? Or pull the heaviest plane? The options are limited only by your imagination - and the official GWR guidelines, of course!"
At the heart of GWR Day is the people. This year, we’ve already seen Jenny Graham’s inspirational journey cycling around the world unsupported, achieving the fastest circumnavigation by bicycle (female), and Taylor Demonbreun, whose thirst for adventure led her to become the new record holder for the fastest time to visit all sovereign nations.
"Meeting our record-holders face-to-face is the highlight of my job – their stories are always fascinating, and you realize that they’re a very special breed of people. These are people who've set themselves goals, worked hard towards achieving them, and finally – hopefully – smashing the target. This is writ large on GWR Day, when we see hundreds of thousands of people push themselves towards their goals."
Craig has been part of GWR Day since its conception in 2004. As the editor-in-chief, he has witnessed countless unforgettable moments every year.
"My favourite GWR Day activity has to be the Bungee Dunk!"
The highest bungee dunk was achieved as part of GWR Day 2016, which saw daredevil Simon Berry launch himself from a platform and aim a chocolate biscuit into a mug of tea, just as the bungee rope reached full extension.
"I love records with an interesting, quirky twist, so it was great to adjudicate an activity like bungee jumping with the added challenge of targeting something as small as a mug of tea.
Simon achieved the record with a height of 73.41 m (240 ft 10 in), beating the previous best of 12.8 m. The whole event gave the organizer, Experience Days, a new way to talk about their bungee business, and the story really caught the public’s imagination. When it was featured as part of the GWR Day news release, it went viral and became a hit across the world’s media."
Feeling inspired? Read more about festive records your company could break this holiday season
With 2020 just around the corner, Glenday reflects on an explosive year of record-breaking from business and organisations in particular. So, what exactly stands out to someone who has sung on stage with Michael Jackson, and walked alongside the shortest and tallest man in the word?
“My favourite commercial record this year was the heaviest aircraft pulled 100 m by a wheelchair team. Talk about embodying the spirit of adventure! British Airways, Heathrow Airport and Aerobility (UK) staged the spectacular pulling of a Dreamliner 787-9 weighing over 127 tonnes by a team of 98 wheelchair users. The Wheels4Wings project beat the previous record by 67 tonnes and, crucially, helped raise funds to help give terminally ill and disabled people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to trial a flying lesson. This is what record-breaking is all about!”
Is your organisation competitive enough to take on the challenge? Contact an account manager now to show us what you’ve got!