Monday, February 19, 2007

How to break a Guinness World Record

Today's joggling mileage: 0 (a day off – tired out from filling out Guinness World Records paperwork)

I finally got around to sending off the documentation for my 10K joggling record to the Guinness World Records head office in London, England. I set the record five months ago at the Longboat Toronto Island 10K in a time of 36 minutes and 27 seconds, and it took me this long to get everything together.

Here are the steps you have to follow to break a Guinness World Record:

1) Submit an application on www.guinnessworldrecords.com.
2) They'll e-mail you a "Record Breakers' Pack" document that you have to fill out, sign and fax back to them.
3) Several weeks later, they'll e-mail you a couple of documents describing the rules of the record that you want to break, as well as the current record.
4) Now you finally get to set the record. You may feel like all the paperwork is more exhausting than setting the record itself.
5) You need to have two independent witnesses sign sworn statements of authentication.
6) If you submit photos or videos, the photographer/videographer needs to sign away the rights to the material to Guinness.
7) You fill out another stack of paperwork.
8) Assemble all of this and mail it off to Guinness.
9) Several weeks later, Guinness will approve the record (hopefully) and mail you a nice big certificate.
10) The Guinness Book prints about 4,000 records, only about one-tenth of the total, so setting a record by no means guarantees entry into the widely published book.
11) You get NO MONEY for setting a Guinness World Record. Nor do you get a pint of stout.
12) You can also submit your record to the Book of Alternative Records. They require much less documentation.

When I was on my way over to mail the record claim, a woman pointed over to me and whispered to her companion: "That's The Joggler." Maybe I'm famous?