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Home > News > Congleton RFC in World Record rugby marathon
Your News Congleton RFC in World Record rugby marathon

ITS official! After eight weeks of waiting for officials at Guinness World Records to authenticate their claim, 44 players from Congleton RUFC, Cheshire have officially broken the record for the longest continuous rugby match.

Since before the Rugby World Cup captured the media spotlight, the 44 players who have kicked, tackled, rucked and mauled their way into the record book have been waiting for ratification to arrive that their 24 hours 30 minutes and 6 seconds of continuous action from 5pm on Friday, July 22 has been accepted.

That acceptance confirmed that the match at Congleton Park broke the existing Guinness World Record of 24 hours, five minutes and 12 seconds by 24 minutes and 54 seconds.

Organiser Andy Jones, who came up with the idea, said: "There are world records and there are world records. Some are silly while others are serious challenges. I think this one was off the scale in terms of being bonkers. All the players who took part are heroes. And we all played really competitively. It was incredible to see someone who had been playing for 18 hours sprint through for a try."

While Congleton RUFC contributed most of the participants, players also came from clubs across the Midlands and North West including Crewe and Nantwich, Old Suttonians, Loughborough University and Grange School.

Players were divided into two teams: Congleton Bears and Mali Lions and all 24 hours were hotly contended with only 40 points after 21 hours of action, both sides playing each hour as if it were the 1st game. Eventually the Mali Lions pulled away and ended up winning 889 to 715 a score line which reflects the pace of the game.

If you have never been through an endurance event like this it is difficult to imagine the emotional and mental challenge that it presents. said Team Manager Richard Burkard: Physical pain, exhaustion, cold following torrential rain and injury has to take a back seat to make it happen.

Running for 24 hours is exhausting, but add to this the impact and physicality of a normal rugby match and you have some idea of the scale of the achievement.

All 24 hours of the match were diligently filmed; players pitch activity was recorded in detailed log books by a team of stewards; and members of the Congleton Cycling Club acted as independent timekeepers to ensure the result was recognised by Guinness World Record officials. A team of physios from Congleton-based Norris Associates, CTC and others also played a vital role; ensuring our injured players were able to return to the fray.

One of the competing players, Nigel Brierley, said: You have to stay focused on the goal. You have to put the hurt and the tiredness in a box and keep it stored until after the match is over. And then when the final buzzer goes all that stored pain and exhaustion comes out at once. You are flooded with emotion and relief. Being part of this enormous achievement is overwhelming and awesome.

Around 3000 people will have witnessed the event, which additionally raised over 10,000 to support the Mali Initaitive and the Mercian Benevolent fund.

Congleton RUFC will be officially awarded the World Record Certificate on November 12, 2011 and the achievement will be visible at from this date.

Rugby facts

Playing for over 24 hours is equivalent to playing 17 rugby matches back to back.

The average no of calories burned per player is estimated to have been 15,000 during the 24 hours (based on a player weight of 200lbs and rolling substitutions)

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