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LAPD Detective Completes 25-Hour Ferris Wheel Ride For Charity

SANTA MONICA (CBS) — An LAPD detective finished up ride of his life Friday and set the world record for the longest time spent on a Ferris wheel.

But it wasn't a leisurely ride Gus Martinez, who doesn't like heights and was experiencing motion sickness Friday morning.

"You know, the early evening was harder than this overnight one. I got a little bit chilly, but the weather cleared up real nice for me," said Martinez, who began his attempt to break the Guinness World Record for "Longest Ride On A Fair Ground/Theme Park Attraction" at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

Martinez rode the 130-foot tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel for 25 hours through 8:30 a.m. Friday to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Southern California.

The detective says he had the endurance skills needed to break the record because he is often awake 25 to 30 hours at a time. The previous record of 24 hours 30 minutes was set in October in Dublin, Ireland.

Martinez's 23-year-old son Jason, who has Down Syndrome, has won more than 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming competitions. He periodically joined his dad in the Ferris wheel gondola along with additional family members, friends and fellow law enforcement officers.

Martinez told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that the park went to great lengths to make the daylong ride as comfortable as possible.

"They put some cushion on the seats for me, they sun-powered my gondola so I have power outlets and a TV screen here," he said.

The public was able to ride the Ferris wheel after-hours from 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight for $5, with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics.

Martinez says being a Special Olympics Southern California coach and working with his son is "life changing."

Donations can be made online at the Pacific Park Web site. All donors will receive a $10 off coupon Sports Authority.

"It's going to be a long time before I get on it again -- any Ferris wheel," Martinez quipped.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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