Fame comes and goes, but the record for most balloons inflated nasally in three minutes (28) can last a long time. Having your name in the Guinness World Records, a product that organically grew out of weird bar bets, is not only an honor, it is also a more achievable goal that rising to power or starting a game at Madison Square Garden. The key, according to Mike Janela, one of the U.S. judges who adjudicate record attempts, is to have a plan.
"We get 1,000 applications a week," Janela says. "That's everyone from a kid saying he has the coolest dog to someone going for a speed record." He adds that only 2 percent of world record inquiries end up earning the official Guinness certificate of approval. Being the best in the world at something is apparently harder than it looks.
We asked Janela for his help understanding the process of making a record-setting attempt and sending proof to the judges. He gave us a quick guide to getting our name in the book.
Set Your Record
Once the application has been approved and the rules are set, it's game on. "A lot of it is planning," Janela says. "People tell us that actually preparing is the hardest part." Breaking an individual record involves a different sort of logistics than assembling thousands of people in one place. In general, group records are easier to break if you're willing to be methodical. It's also important to think ahead to the final step – submitting the evidence – before even starting. Capture rapid movements with slow-motion video to confirm each repetition was fully completed or setting up a wide angle camera to capture a massive audience so each person can clearly be counted. Whatever you do, you'll want to run the plan past someone else first in case you forget something important.
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