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A life in pursuit of record-breakers

When I met Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, says Imogen West-Knights in The Guardian, he was watching a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt attempt to jump over the most consecutive cars on a pogo stick (above). It was a comparatively easy gig: since joining GWR in 2001, Glenday has often “suffered in the line of duty”. On a trip to Istanbul to meet the woman who can protrude her eyeballs furthest out of her face (12mm), he received an insect bite that got infected and “almost resulted in amputation”. He once spent a week stranded in southern Chile with the band Fall Out Boy, who were trying to break the record for the fastest time to perform a gig on every continent.

Glenday has an array of eclectic memorabilia in his London office: the puck from the longest ice hockey game (52 hours and one minute); a broken loo seat from a record-beating attempt at smashing the most loo seats with your head in a minute (47). His main responsibility now is screening the 100 or so requests for new records that come in each day. He recently rejected the “longest drawing of an evil train”, for example, on the grounds that no one would bother trying to break the record. But all in all, Glenday loves his job. “Reading about things that you’ve never even conceived of, or can’t ever have imagined,” he says, “is just thrilling.”