Although it took almost a year, the wait was more than worth it, say local curlers who have now, officially, written their names in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Fifty weeks after setting an “unofficial” new world record for the longest curling game, word arrived on Sept. 14 that the 10 local curlers had officially set the record; their game clocked in at 105 hours, six minutes and 51 seconds.
On Saturday, the group, finally, received their certificate and celebrated their achievement at Lake Country Grill.
Four members of this history-making 10-member group also reached a unique curling milestone.
Bill Pearce of Bala, along with his 26-year-old twin daughters, Amanda and Brittany Pearce (who now reside in Barrie), and Stephen Collins of Gravenhurst, now have their names on three world records.
“This one is special for many reasons,” said Brittany Pearce. “Not only have I had the opportunity to do this with my sister and father three times, our entire family has been a part of putting their mark in the history books.”
With their older sister Courtney and mom Debbie by their sides for the entire time, the family trio has vowed not to entertain any idea of future marathon.
“I’ve hung up my competitive shoes,” said Bill, who will scale back his on-ice involvement and play in an occasional fun spiel.
The world-record-breaking marathon, dubbed “Rocks for Heart”, was held in Coldwater last September and was the quartet’s third world record marathon.
“We did 60 hours in 2011 in Bala and 79:15:03 in 2014 in Coldwater,” said Amanda Pearce. “But this last 105-plus hours has taken its toll on my knee and I’m still recovering from surgery a month after the last marathon.”
Stephen Collins joined the family trio in their journey of curling over 244 hours in those three events.
“The numbers are amazing,” said Collins. “Our first 60-hour event, seems so small when comparing it to being on the ice for over 105 hours. We have accomplished what no other curler has ever done.”
For Midland’s Michael Foster and Lauren Grealy, of Niagara Falls, this was their second world record.
The group of 10 who set the record in Coldwater reunited Saturday to accept their world record certificate and to reflect on the events.
“We could not have accomplished this without the support of the curling community and the countless volunteers who supported us along the way,” said Bill Pearce.
“I formed an association/ friendship with Archie Manavian, president of Hardline Curling over five years ago,” said Pearce. “They supplied us with world class equipment, which gave us the ability to set this hopefully unbeatable mark. It’s as much their record, as it is ours.”
In addition to setting a world record, the curlers’ exploits helped to raise money and awareness for the regional cancer and cardiac treatment centres at RVH in Barrie.
“It was a small way of helping anyone in our home communities who might need those services some day,” said Amanda Pearce.
Gravenhurst curlers Calvin Manley and Jeremy Rand, along with Terry Lee and John Carpino from Severn Township, round out the group of new world record holders. They all said they are proud to have been a part of this chapter in Canadian curling history.