Going for the Distance

Capturing the most bounces in a pogo stick marathon in 2007, James Roumeliotis re-broke his own record in 2011. With the record now standing at over 206,000 bounces within a 20-hour window, James has been looking for a new challenge to test his limits. With the help of fellow pogoers at Xpogo, James has realized his next world record attempt: farthest distance traveled on a pogo stick.

Image of Finish Line Goal

This particular world record dates back all the way to 1974 when Scott Spencer first set the distance at 6 miles. Holding onto the title for over 10 years, Ashrita Furman challenged and beat the world record pushing the distance up to 11.1 miles in 1986. Over the following decade, the record continued to stretch farther and farther until the year 1997 when Ashrita finished with a distance of 23.11 miles on a pogo stick. Since then, the record has remained untouched.

Residing in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, James Roumeliotis has traveled out to California to participate in the annual pogo world championship event, Pogopalooza. In an effort to raise money and awareness for Scleroderma and for pushing his own limits, James will begin his attempt on July 26th beginning at 8:00AM PST (5:00AM EST) in Costa Mesa, California at the Orange County Fair. Personal training methods have included distance pogoing around town, running, and participating in obstacle races such as the Tough Mudder. While the time for completion should be much shorter than the pogo marathon record, the energy required to bounce forward is much more challenging.

In James’ mind; however, this attempt is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Over the course of 6-mile bounces around town, the battle to keep pushing forward has little to do with bodily pain and everything to do with keeping his mind occupied. While music tends to ease his mentality, he receives more motivation by performing in front of others.

From facing defeat in a previous record attempt for most consecutive bounces in one minute, James recalls that, “the pain of failure is much more torturous than the pain endured during the attempt”. Failure, while not the best feeling in the world, can be used as a powerful tool to build a better future.


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