took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
If you would like regular exposure from Alastair's activities, become his Sustaining Sponsor:
- A range of attempts annually
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- Receive product endorsements
Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
Their success underpins Alastair's.
|They are listed here|
Most hugs in one hour: 624
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most hugs in one hour.
Are you a 'clingy' person who likes hugs? I'm
not. But I am prepared to be, if it means another world record attempt.
So I agreed to try beating the world record for hugging stranger after
stranger in New Zealand's capital city.
Normally I organise, act in and shut down my own
events. But this time I was lucky. A television station did much of the
arranging for me. I flew into the city the morning of the attempt, and
was driven straight to the city square. The New Zealand Fire Service
was present in the near-empty public area, ready to act as witnesses.
TV camera crews and journalists were wandering around, waiting – I
presumed, for me to do something newsworthy. Well, they didn't have
long to wait.
More journalists came as the agreed time to begin
got closer. Pedestrians started drifting in, hearing radio station
announcements. Next, as a wildly colourful winding line of jerseys,
scarves, jackets, caps, trousers, dresses, handbags, shirts, shoes and
shopping bags assembled, there I was - cornered: facing them all and
about to hug each one.
I could hardly concentrate on the popular TV
presenter questioning me, live, with all the concerns flying though my
mind. Would these people all follow the rules? Would they all give me a
great bear hug with both arms? Would they each hug me only once? Sign
the logbook...? It was too much to think about right then; we'd done as
much planning as we could have. Now it was time for action.
The countdown reached zero and the first
excitable hugger surged toward me, smiling broadly with arms spread
wide. We gripped each other for a second like long-lost friends
reuniting. Then she was gone, knocking my chin with her elbow as she
sped towards the awaiting logbook. The TV presenter and two witnesses
shouted “one!” I raised my arms once more to be embraced tightly and
seemingly instantaneously by the next eager hugger. I felt the breath
forced out of my lungs. “Two!” the voices called out, setting the pace.
Again, the hugger vanished before I could remember much about them.
“Three! Four! Five!” the assistants and TV presenter called out as the
process repeated itself seemingly endlessly.
spectators, media and huggers, all seemed
well. But little did they know my trousers kept creeping down. I was
mindful of this, but with both arms squeezing bodies constantly, there
wasn't much I could do apart from flick my hips gently. The cycle of
hug-release-instruct-invite the next hugger was set. But not for long.
I got through several hundred hugs, and then the line began to shorten.
All the time, people were running out of offices, across the plaza, and
over the surrounding roads for their free hug. But I was going faster
than the city's crowds were flowing in. The first lull occurred, then
the second and third. At one point, I was yelling out to everyone –
street cleaners, government officials and the homeless – to join the
tally. We couldn't fail this world record attempt for lack of a few
Several passers-by trotted up and hugged me,
including the city mayor in her smart dress suit. She must have almost
fainted from the mix of smells on me because by that time, I'd rubbed
up against over 500 individuals from a plethora of backgrounds. To this
day, I've often wondered two things: who can say they've had the
pleasure of hugging hundreds of gorgeous women one after another, and
who's squeezed their mayor but never been introduced!
When the hour expired, the pressure to hug and
hug vanished instantly. I was sweating. TV cameras rolled in front of
me, filming, before I had the chance to see them coming. That gave me
the ideal opportunity to thank every person, and express my excitement
about another world record attempt completed.
Since then, hugging seems to have become somewhat of an obsession for some. Not only can lots of hugging be seen as a good move at the end of a date, but hugging has also taken on a life of its own. Free hugging events are held in various parts of the world, but I'm most interested to see what the USA has done. Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, groups have sprung up all over to provide aid to this nation's inhabitants. Among these efforts, my hugging world record has been used as the springboard for a campaign to raise much-needed money by hugging as much as possible. Now that makes me feel good; in fact, it makes me want to hug everyone in Haiti!
If you are single and want to try out lots of
hugging but don't want to embarass yourself by grabbing your nearest
neighbour, consider joining up with a website such as Dating
Direct. Then see how hugs can lead to that