A dad-of-three who dreamed of claiming a Guinness World Records title has finally done it after swinging into action – and he found love along the way too.
Richard Scott (UK) claimed the record for longest marathon on a swing after spending 36 hr 32 min going back and forth on a swing set.
And he says it wasn’t nearly as easy as he thought it would be.
It did have a happy ending though, as not only did he nab the record, but he also met his now-girlfriend Alana Brown while he was swinging for glory.
Richard, who owns his own cleaning and laundry business, decided to finally take on a record because he was the “fittest” he’s ever been.
He set his record in Tayside, Scotland, from 14 to 15 May 2022.
“I always read the book when I was a kid, and still do,” Richard said. “When I was a kid, I loved playing on the swings and back then wondered what the record for the longest time on a swing was and thought I could maybe do it.
“But then I grew up and stopped playing on the swings so didn’t do anything about it.”
The idea come back to him one day when he was in a park with his son Alasdair, now 12.
Richard, who is also dad to 17-year-old Finlay and Emily, 15, said: “I told Alasdair, who was 10 at the time, that I wanted to attempt a record when I was young, so I Googled the swing record and saw it was 34 hours.
“I said, ‘I could do that!’ and that’s how it all came about.”
Richard asked his local Rotary Club – Kinross and District – if they’d help provide him with independent witnesses, and they were thrilled to get involved.
They didn’t have enough members for two people to take on four-hour shifts throughout the whole attempt, so also recruited people from Rotary Clubs in nearby Buckhaven and Methil.
That’s where Alana came into the picture.
We met on the swing. - Richard
They ended up going on a date after their chance meeting and are still together today.
Richard, 53, admits the record attempt was much tougher than he thought it was going to be.
He’s fit and active and going up for his black belt in karate in just a few weeks’ time.
He also does regular 5 km runs and swims, but it turns out swinging isn’t child’s play.
He said: “The swing wasn’t as easy as you would think! My hip flexors got really sore quite quickly, after about four hours.
“I had stretches to do both on the swing and during my breaks to try and help but they were really sore for most of the swing. They were still fragile for several months after."
As with all marathon record attempts, Richard earned rest breaks for every hour of activity, and he could save them up for longer spells off the swing.
He used his breaks to eat, go to the toilet, and squeezed in a 12-minute power nap at one point.
Richard’s swing was provided by company Caledonia Play, a manufacturer close to him.
He knew the owner and called in a favour from her, as well as from Kinross Cricket Club, who provided the facilities when he set up near their ground, overlooking Loch Leven.
It was tough going though and he almost gave up at one point.
While swinging and looking out on to the pitch-black waters of Loch Leven late at night, he was cold and sore and thought about stopping, but the witnesses and crowds who’d gathered to cheer him on saw him through.
His mother Sylvia and pals from his karate club were there to witness the moment he surpassed the previous record of 34 hours – set by Quinn Levy (USA) in 2020 – and he was interviewed for his local radio station as he swung.
He said: “It was fun but the pain was really bad, that was the most difficult thing, but the support from everyone made it so much easier. If someone was to break my record, I would do it again. I know what to expect now.”
Richard also has his heart set on creating a brand-new record title, and hopes he’ll be able to take it on next year.
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