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Ontario man says he’s broken world record with 125-hour dance marathon

[The Globe and Mail, Sunday, 2 January 2011 12:38 No Comment]

An Ontario man says he has broken the world record for longest dance marathon.

Using a variety of moves including Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, Suresh Joachim, 41, danced for 125 hours in Brampton in his latest effort to break yet another Guiness World Record.

The Mississauga man began kicking up his heels at 8:30 a.m. last Monday and finished at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

He grooved to disco songs, Bollywood tunes, rap music, techno music, Tamil songs and even the hit “Billie Jean” from Mr. Jackson, who’s his favourite artist.

When he began, he was aiming to break a record of 108 hours, but he discovered on the dance floor he actually needed to beat a record of 123 hours and 15 minutes set in India in September.

To prepare for the event, he worked out on a treadmill and abstained from alcohol, he said. He also ate a lot, knowing he’d lose some weight during the marathon dance. Mr. Joachim estimated he lost about three pounds since he started busting a move.

He was allowed five minutes an hour for a break and he banked the time to take a few catnaps and bathroom breaks along the way.

He also took his shoes off and danced in his socks on the carpet, which was easier on his feet, he said.

Breaking records is nothing new to the Sri Lankan immigrant, who came to Canada in 2003. He started back in 1996 and aims to break 500 world records in 20 years.

Mr. Joachim is well on his way to his goal, having previously broken 63 world records — 17 of which still stand — in countries such as Australia, Switzerland, Norway, France, Sri Lanka and Canada.

In fact, Mr. Joachim is used to getting his grove on. Past records include 100 hours of continuous dancing, 31 hours of couples dancing and 24 hours of doing the moonwalk.

Among his other feats are 1,000 consecutive hours of running, drumming continuously for 84 hours, running on a treadmill for 168 hours, bowling for 168 hours and non-stop crawling for 56.62 kilometres.

Not all of his records are athletic. Some include watching TV and movies and doing ironing. His 2003 wedding featured a record 79 bridesmaids, a record 47 groomsmen, and a record 60.09 metre long wedding bouquet.

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