(If you want to break a record that is published in a record
book or governed by an international authorithy, there may be other or
additional rules. See here for more
- This record is for the fastest mile travelled whilst playing
- The mile-long course should be accurately measured and marked
out, ideally the attempt should happen around an athletics track to
ensure that it is on level ground.
- The measured mile is a straight line mile (or in the case of an
athletics field, the number of laps equal to a mile)
- For team records, only one member of the team may "wink" at a
time but throughout the event team members may take turns at winking.
- The winks may only be moved by using the squidger.
- An accurate timing device must be used for the attempt. The
clock does not stop for any pauses during the attempt.
The Record: One Mile, Team Of Two
The pair record is 52:10 minutes by Edward Wynn
and James Cullingham (Great Britain), set in Stradbroke, on 31
(This record has been broken by the solo record, see below)
The Story Behind the Record
by Andrew Garrard
We arranged an indoor attempt on the record: We used a varnished
basketball court, on which the course had been laid out - the benefit
being that the winks would travel about 5m horizontally before skidding
to a stop. We had a relay effort where one
entrant in a team would rush to where the other member was targetting
For the (more detailed) record, the times were:
52 mins 10 secs (for two experienced winks players)
56 mins 8 secs (for three experienced, but fatter, players)
66 mins dead (for a group of five pre-teen boys)
79 min 55 secs (for a group of five, younger, pre-teen girls)
This means the team members are effectively doing jumping jacks for an
hour - kneeling to standing to running to a new position to kneeling
again. This hurts, especially after the event - many of us had trouble
standing for some days later.
We could just have done laps around the basketball court, but while
this would have been faster, it also would have removed some of the
skill and been deadly boring (it's about 16 laps). In the interests of
making things interesting, I decided to use a space filling curve to
define the course, which reduced it to just under 6 laps, and reduced
the number of lappings.
As it happens, there was a catastrophe as the person laying out the
court for us managed to chop off the right hand side during printing
(it's a big image, so just hitting "print" won't work), without
realising that the plan had an enormous gap at one end. We were there
too late to re-lay out the course, so we just added a straight section
and recalculated the distance (and, in retrospect, we found that in
addition to being unable to use a printer, the person doing the layout
also couldn't do maths - we overshot by a few metres). So it's all a
The Record: Longest Distance
Ralf Laue (Germany) covered a distance of 4.255 km while
tiddlywinking at the fair "Model and Hobby" in Leipzig on 30
The Record: One Mile, Solo Record
The solo record is: 23:22 minutes by Ashrita Furman (USA) in Punta Cana,
Dominican Rebublic, on 17 December 2007.
26:25.8 minutes by Ashrita Furman
(USA) in Kuala Lumpur at 15 December 2005
42:38 minutes by Ralf Laue
(Germany), at the fair "Model and Hobby" in Leipzig on 30
1:06:01 hours by Ralf Laue (Germany), set in Starnberg on 9 November
1:04:40 hours by Ralf Laue (Germany), set in Flensburg on 13 August 2005
The Story Behind the First Record
by Ralf Laue
I admit that I have a rather unusual hobby: to break world
records (those that are published in the Guinness Book of Records.)
I am already the world record holder for pancake tossing, domino
stacking, the largest fan of cards and much more.
When I got an invitation to the "Impossibility Challenger Games" (an
event where record breakers from all over the world come
together and demonstrate their abilities), there was no doubt that I
should agree to take part.
The only remaining question was which world record I would try to break
on this occasion. Well, the best records for me are
those who bring a lot of fun for the record breakers as well as for the
audience, so the "fastest tiddlywinks mile" seemed to
be a good choice.
The record published in the 2003 edition of the Guinness Book of
Records reads as follows: "The fastest time for a tiddlywink
to be propelled over a measured mile is 2 hours, 25 minutes and 24
seconds by AGS Home Improvements Ltd of Newton Abbot, Devon, UK on
November 20, 1999." Well, this seemed to be beatable, even if the
current record was established by a team while I would like to start a
In order to get some information about the rules for such records, I
e-mailed the ETwA, and Andrew Garrard was very helpful. The most
important fact he told me was that the record had been broken in the
meantime, and the new record breakers were Edward Wynn and James
Cullingham with a time of 52:10 minutes. Well, 52 minutes sounds much
faster than more than 2 hours, but on the other hand it would only be
fair to accept my attempt as the inaugural record for the "fastest solo
mile", because it is obviously much harder to squidge a wink over one
(Andrew's e-mail included the warning that "many of us had trouble
standing for some days later. Please bear this in mind
if you are considering a solo effort...")
tiddlywinks training at home, I was sure that it would become a great
event. The organisers of the "Impossibility Challenger Games" were
already looking forward to my attempt, telling
me that it would become one of the funniest (even if the other record
breakers did their best as well - for example
Ashrita Furman from the USA, the "world record holder for breaking
Guinness world records", who balanced a milk bottle on his head for one
I had the choice between an outdoor track and an indoor course on two
basketball fields. Because of the cold weather, I decided to choose the
indoor course. The referees had reserved a part of the court for me.
(The rest of the court was used for other important activities like
carrying 17 full beer steins over a given distance).
I was told that I had to cover a course 36 times. While the first laps
were difficult for me (because of the hard surface), the lap times of
between 3 and 5 minutes were okay. The most difficult points
were at the end of each "lap" when I had to squidge the wink around
three traffic cones which were arranged in a triangle.
But to be honest, tiddlywinks skill was much less important for this
attempt than physical condition. Kneeling, running, kneeling again...
It's harder than it seemed to be to the audience.
Luckily, I am a well-trained long-distance runner. But even after more
than 20 finished marathon races, I've never had an experience like
one mile tiddlywinks - stiff muscles, but only in my right leg (because
of the kneeling).
(So I can repeat Andrew's warning: a one-mile tiddlywinks attempt is
nothing for untrained people.)
When I had done 18 laps (out of the 36 that I was supposed to have to
go), the jury told me that my time so far was 1:06:01 hours. I still
felt good for the second half.
However, after 20 laps they told me that they had just realised that I
was already done - the mile was already over! (They had measured the
course correctly, but in their calculation they had forgotten that in
each lap, I had to go the distance back as well - so the correct number
of laps was just 18!)
The best idea in such a situation is to mistrust the jury and to ask
them to measure again and to recalculate at least twice. However, it
really true: I had already done my mile. But I did not want to stop
until I had covered the 36 laps for a second mile.
However, after exactly 2016 meters (and after 1:23:40 h), the wink got
lost under a movable wall that can be used to separate
the different parts of the sports centre. There was no way to get it
back, and I felt that it would not be in the spirit of this record
category to replace the wink.
So I can now claim to be the record holder for the fastest solo
tiddlywinks mile. Beat this!
The Record: Two Miles, Solo
The solo record for 2 miles is: 1:41:09 hours by Gabor
Horváth (Hungary) at the Impossibility Challenger World Record Games in
Dachau (Germany) on 6 November 2005.
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