CHICAGO – A manager of Chicago’s Navy Pier rode the tourist spot’s Ferris wheel for more than two days – 384 times, up and around – bringing the world record for the longest ride to the birthplace of the amusement park favorite.
“I thought Chicago should have that title,” Clinton Shepherd said after finishing his record-breaking ride Sunday. Shepherd, the park operations manager, spent 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds riding Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel over the weekend.
The first Ferris wheel was built in 1893 in Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition.
Guinness World Records allowed him to have one five-minute break each hour. He played hours of videogames to stay awake during the ride, and watched James Bond and Batman movies. His gondola on the wheel was specially outfitted with a big-screen TV, cushions and curtains.
Supporters followed him on Twitter. A video camera recorded the feat while volunteer timekeepers documented Shepherd’s activities.
Fans could join Shepherd for a spin by making a donation to the USO. Shepherd’s girlfriend rode with him Saturday for a candlelight anniversary dinner with food from a Chicago restaurant owned by Michael Jordan.
The 32-year-old Shepherd called his adventure “a very overwhelming experience” that was made easier by the support of friends, family and the city of Chicago.
“I was thrilled and honored to be able to have all the love and support I did,” Shepherd said.
The previous record was 30 hours and 35 seconds. Shepherd said he didn’t want to simply beat the record, “I wanted to shatter it.”
“It was little rough at about three in the morning, but the more I kept busy, the better,” Shepherd said.
He said his legs felt wobbly after the ride.