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Guinness record no longer a factor in Ultrathon

Jason Starr

Guinness has bowed out of the equation, but two rivals remain, trying to hold the record for the world’s longest amateur hockey game.

Shortly after local skaters set the record at 80 hours last year in the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center’s inaugural Hockey Ultrathon, a group from Albuquerque, N.M., upped the record to 100 hours.

Both parties have spent the last year trying to get their feats recognized by “The Guinness Book of World Records” to no avail. Both said their dealings with Guinness have been tedious and fruitless.

“Guinness was extraordinarily difficult to work with, and we never really got confirmation,” said Ultrathon coordinator Lisa Seaman of the BOEC. “They basically didn’t create a category to accommodate our record.”

Nonetheless, the idea of a record-length amateur hockey game lives on. This year’s Ultrathon is set for June 5-9 at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. The goal is 101 hours of continuous play, which would break the Albuquerque record by one hour.

Bob Pope skated in the original Ultrathon. Then, two months later, he organized the record-breaking game in Albuquerque. Pope will play in this year’s event and admits he stole the idea from Breckenridge but says there is no rivalry. But he won’t consider a 101-hour game a new record.

“It would not be considered broken if they do 101 hours,” Pope said. “It depends on how you want to look at it. We set the bar at a 25 percent increase (from 80 to 100 hours). We figure somebody has to do a 125-hour game to break our record.”

Pope said he has no plans to organize another game in Albuquerque this summer and points out that the real purpose of these games is to raise money for worthy causes. The Breckenridge game is a fund-raiser for the BOEC, and the Albuquerque game raised money for youth hockey in New Mexico.

“As we speak, I have no intention of doing another game, but I have every intention of coming to Breckenridge and skating in their game,” Pope said. “It’s a great cause they’re doing it for.”

The Ultrathon was the BOEC’s most successful fund-raiser last year, and figures to be again this year. More than records, that is the point, Seaman said.

“We wanted to up the bar. It would be boring to go for 80 hours again,” she said. “But that’s not the biggest aspect. This is more about our community and a fun fund-raising event.”

Last year, about 200 people skated in a rotating schedule. The BOEC is hoping to attract about 250 players this year. Basically, players can skate for as long or as little as they want. Registration is $100 before May 15 and $125 thereafter. Teams of up to 16 players can register for $1,600 before May 15 and $2,000 thereafter.

Players are encouraged to raise their entry fees through pledges and not to stop at just the entry fee. Prizes will be awarded to those individuals who raise the most money.

Funds raised will go toward scholarships for children with disabilities to participate in the BOEC’s outdoor programs and to help with the BOEC’s operating costs. The Ultrathon is sponsored by East West Partners, Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Town of Breckenridge. Special guests will be the Paralyzed Veterans of America/Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey Team and retired professional and college hockey players.

For more information or to register, call the BOEC at (970) 453-6422.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at jstarr@summitdaily.com.

Hockey Ultrathon

– What: Second Annual BOEC Hockey Ultrathon

– Where: Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge

– When: June 5-9

– Why: To raise money for the BOEC

*Individual registration is $100 before May 15 and $125 thereafter. Teams of up to 16 players can register for $1,600 before May 15 and $2,000 thereafter. Players are encouraged to secure pledge money, and prizes will be awarded to those who raise the most money.


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