BOSTON - A South Boston man is vying to become the Guinness World Record holder for consecutive pogo stick jumps. His attempt will help homeless veterans in the process.
"The hope is that I can push this number so far away that no one will touch it ever again. That's the hope!" laughs record challenger James Roumeliotis.
Roumeliotis has actually held the record several times. He lost it years ago during a bounce-off in Philadelphia against two of the best endurance pogo stick hoppers in the world.
"I bounce faster than other people at closer to three bounces a second. At the end, I ended up stopping at 88,000, and gave him a finish line," tells Roumeliotis.
One competitor surpassed his mark which sits just after that 88,000 mark. James first broke the record in 2007 to raise money for medical research. Back then they allowed a five-minute break every hour, but the new record allows for no breaks.
"I ended up breaking it by bouncing for 20 hours, with those five-minute breaks every hour, at over 186,000 bounces," remembers Roumeliotis.
He also used to own the pogo stick distance record when he hopped for roughly 23 miles.
"Probably about an hour in I start getting a little delusional," jokes Roumeliotis, "I start losing feeling in my forearm just from gripping. I try to change it over the course of the day. By the end of it, I lose complete feeling, and it takes days to come back."
This new attempt will raise money for homeless veterans in New England. His father-in-law is a Marine who served during Vietnam. His record attempt location pays homage to him. James will begin his attempt on September 9th at 8 am at Medal of Honor Park in South Boston.
"My father fought in Vietnam, and he has since dedicated his life to advocating for veteran's services in Boston," explains James's wife Maura Lyons. "He signed up with his friend out of high school. They all grew up here, and three of their friends didn't make it home, and they are part of the names on this stone [at the park]."
He expects to surpass the record around 4:30 pm, and he hopes to raise close to $10,000 for the New England Center for the Homeless. They are accepting donations on their website Hopping for Heroes.
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