It’s not just in our pursuit of fitness that Australians push ourselves to the limit. Apparently we like to break world records as well. And it’s in the sillier categories where we really excel.
Melbourne runner Andrew McKenzie broke the world record for fastest marathon dressed as Mr Potato Head at the Melbourne Marathon in 2012, crossing the finish line in three hours 38 minutes and 20 seconds, almost matching his own personal best time. He was running for Team World Vision.
TOGA! In March 2012 the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology combined forces to stage the Guinness World Records’ largest ever toga party. 3700 people turned up despite a torrential Brisvegas downpour, smashing a previous record set in Oregon, USA.
Not to forget our politicians. In the mid-1950s Bob Hawke made the Guinness Book of Records for downing a yard glass (2.5 pints or 1.4 litres) of beer in 11 seconds at University College, Oxford. In 1983 he became our prime minister.
Bob’s record must surely have inspired the people of Maryborough, Queensland who in 2005 set the record for Longest Pub Crawl at their annual pub crawl event and despite other contenders breaking it in between times, keep winning it back every year.
Why is it that Australians love breaking Guinness World Records? Chris Sheedy, the Australia and New Zealand representative for the book told The Monthly: “It’s instinct. It might come from being at the end of the world, or coming from a prison colony, but we Australians seem to have a point to prove.”
Even our fauna it seems. The Inland Taipan has drop for drop the most toxic venom of any snake in the world and can kill 100 men with one bite. It’s also extremely fast and agile. You can find this snake going harder in Central Australia. Or avoid it if you prefer.