Sean Duffy and Leo Chau crawl into Guinness World Records.
Sean Duffy, CC'06, and his friend Leo Chau, a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, crawled 32.26 miles and into the Guinness World Records this summer to raise nearly $20,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
The crawl, which took just over 44 hours through hail, lightning, rain and freezing temperatures, exceeded the previous world record of 31.44 miles set by two Scotsmen in 1992. The grueling crawl pushed the pair to their physical and mental limits. Duffy suffered from hallucinations and motion sickness and Chau experienced severe dehydration. Both were treated at a local hospital at the conclusion of the crawl.
The event took place June 9--11 on the football field of Duffy and Chau's alma mater, Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, CO. Hundreds of onlookers braved the elements to cheer for the pair as they completed 155 laps of the field.
How did the friends come up with such an unusual idea for a fundraiser? Duffy explains, "We were looking at the Guinness Web site and thought it would be fun to break a record for charity. We saw crawling as a metaphor -- we were crawling so that kids could crawl."
Duffy was familiar with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation from events at Columbia, including the annual Columbia University Dance Marathon, which contributes to the foundation. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a worldwide leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS and other serious and life-threatening diseases affecting children. Their efforts include innovative research programs, collaborative training initiatives, advocacy efforts and international programs.
"It was outstanding to be able to pull something together for such a great cause and have so much support from the local community and the Columbia community," says Duffy. "[Upon hearing what we were doing] People came to us to help. It is so great that people are so willing to make a difference in the world."
Duffy and Chau are approximately $1,000 shy of their goal of raising $20,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. For more information about the crawl or the foundation, or to donate, please visit http://www.pedaids.org/fs_events.html.