Clinton Shepherd hopes he can shatter a world record by making his endeavor a very Chicago-centric affair.
The 32-year-old South Sider wants to set a Guinness World Record for “Longest Marathon on a Fairground/Theme Attraction,” the Sun-Times reports. Shepherd will set out to break the record on May 17 atop the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier where he plans to begin his marathon at 2:30 p.m. and ride for 48 hours straight.
The record is currently held by Canadian radio personality Robbie "The Intern" Gibson who spent 30 hours and 35 seconds on a Ferris wheel at the Capital Ex in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 25, 2012, according to Guinness.
Shepherd told the Sun-Times Tuesday just why he wants the record for the Windy City: “Our Ferris wheel is modeled after the first Ferris wheel done by George W. Ferris. That’s why I want [Chicago] to have this title.”
Indeed, Ferris — a native of Galesburg in western Illinois — first conceived of the "observation wheel" as a way for his home state to outdo the previously-unveiled Eiffel Tower at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 in time for Chicago's World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893.
When Shepherd embarks on the record-breaking challenge, Guinness rules state he's entitled to a five-minute break every hour but is not allowed to sleep — exceptions that prompted the Tribune's Eric Zorn to pooh-pooh the endeavor.
"My fancy is not captured," Zorn wrote Tuesday. "The Navy Pier ferris wheel is the tamest ride in all of amusement-dom. The five-minute break every hour eliminates any, um, drama or endurance issues and it's basically an attempt to stay awake for two whole days [...]."
If Shepherd succeeds at his goal, his effort will rank among other Chicago-based Guinness World Records that include one for The Most People Wearing Groucho Marx Glasses (set in '09 during a Movies in the Park screening of "Duck Soup") and The Most Unused Concert Tickets Bought By An Individual.
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