Rugby players who missed out on world record by 71 seconds to try again

Hull rugby players will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest game of marathon touch rugby.

28 city rugby players will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest game of marathon touch rugby on the 7th September. The aim is to play for a total of 48 hours, which is over 17 hours longer than the current record.

In June 2018 they attempted to break the record at the time of 27 hours with a continuous game lasting 30 hours 2 minutes. The players achieved this but later found out that a record attempt was being processed for 30 hours 3 minutes and 11 seconds, meaning they missed out on the world record out by just 71 seconds. Despite not breaking the record, the players raised over £20,000 for the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund and Andy’s Man Club.

This time they will be raising funds and awareness for Hull-based charities Hull 4 Heroes, a charity supporting ex-servicemen and P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery, who support individuals with an acquired brain injury.

Organiser and player Michael Ellis, had this to say: “Although holding the world record would’ve been nice to have last time round, it isn’t the main purpose of the event. Everyone taking part has a genuine interest in raising awareness and much-needed funds for the support charities. The world record is a secondary goal. In 2018 we achieved our goal of raising awareness and money for two amazing charities and we hope to replicate that in September.”

The event in June 2018 was believed at the time to be enough to gain the Guinness World Record. At the end of playing for 30 hours and 2 minutes non-stop, everyone celebrated the amount they raised and the belief that they had taken the record.

The team were quick to notify Guinness and provide evidence, but within two weeks they had received an unexpected response. Guinness notified them of an attempt in 2017 that had been recently verified as the new world record and it happened to be 71 seconds longer.

Upon hearing the news, John Lawless, co-organiser, had this to say: “It felt like a punch to the stomach, if I’m entirely honest. A lot of work and effort had gone into every stage of the event. If we had known that Guinness were verifying an attempt that was only 71 seconds longer, we would’ve played for that extra bit.”

To make sure they do not fall foul of a similar situation in 2019, the team will be playing for 17 more hours than they need to.

Paul Matson, Founder & Chairman of Hull 4 Heroes, added: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be part of the Guinness World Record and to know that people in and around Hull want to help us achieve our goals. Ex-service personnel have regularly had to put themselves through awful conditions and it’s nice to know the community wants to give back.”

The Guinness World Record attempt for the longest game of marathon touch rugby will take place from 7th September 2019 at Hull Universities state-of-the-art facilities on Inglemire Lane.

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[Mike Ellis]