yesterday, two of my cousins set a new world record. for reals.
as a kid, i went through a phase where i really wanted to set a world record. i poured through the guiness book, studying the various categories i might attempt. i even tried (and quickly failed) twice. first, i took at a shot at solo ping pong playing (like against a wall, or with one half of the table elevated). i thought i might try to set the “without missing”, but quickly realized i wasn’t capable of that one. i adjusted to merely “continuous play”. after a couple hours, i got bored, and decided to check the actual record i was trying to break. i can’t remember how long it was, but it was certainly multiple days. yeah. so, that wasn’t going to happen.
after coming across a few completely odd records (i still remember, all these years later, seeing the record for “ketchup sitting”, which was continuous hours spent sitting in a tub of ketchup — ew), i decided i needed to set a record for something odd. so i decided to set a record for solo tetherball playing while jumping on a truck innertube. i’m not kidding. after a couple hours of that, i slipped, fell against the tetherball pole, and bent in in half.
so much for my world record attempts.
but my cousins, luther kurtz and angela bishop, really did it. it’s verified, and it’s real.
luther runs a bunch of parachute drop zones around the states. i’ve jumped with him three times (once in san diego, and twice in northern michigan). angela, his sister, runs the call center for the drop zones. and yesterday, they set a new world record for the most tandem parachute jumps in a 24 hour period: 105. the whole thing was a fundraiser for the “top of michigan trails council” (trails that, as i understand it, luther and angela both enjoy and use on a regular basis). the previous record was 103, set last year. luther organized 3 of his planes, a crew of ‘chute packers, and a bunch of safety checks. they started at 6:30pm tuesday evening, and jumped through the night. the altitude for the jump, and the altitude for ‘chute deployment were previously set, so they stuck to those (5500ft and 4500ft, consecutively). they had a few people who helped assure injury-free landings, and quickly stripped the deployed ‘chute off of luther and angela. they ran to a waiting plane that had a freshly packed and checked ‘chute waiting in it. on the way up, they put the new ‘chute on, then rolled out. over and over again.
in order to make the descents as quickly as possible, they had to do this spiral maneuver that creates an excelerated drop. i remember trying that for about 20 seconds with luther, and it almost made me barf. apparently, angela, who has jumped many, many times, did have to pause on the ground for barfage multiple times; but it didn’t slow her down.
they topped the previous record with about 4 hours remaining, and went back up for one extra jump. by then, their arms were completely spent (on a news video here, luther says it felt like he was doing pull-ups the entire time), and they didn’t see any reason to continue.
the whole thing was covered by a bunch of northern michigan media, and there was regularly 75 – 100 people at the drop site, cheering them on in a party atmosphere.
i’m proud of my cousins, and a little bit jealous.
here are a few links to news stories, followed by a few pics:
petoskey news (article and slide show)
upnorthlive.com (abc affiliate website) (article and video)