College Students Crawl 32 Miles Into Record Book for Pediatric AIDS

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Leo Chau and Sean Duffy crawled 32.26 miles (45 hours straight) through hail, lightning, and freezing temperatures into the Guinness Book of World Records to raise nearly $20,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Colorado Springs, CO In Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 9th, 10th, and 11th, two college students spent 45 straight hours on their hands and knees while attempting the unthinkable: a grueling 33-mile, world record crawl for charity. Leo Chau and Sean Duffy, seniors at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Columbia University, respectively, crawled through severe lightning, rain, hail, and freezing temperatures only to end up in the emergency room after breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest distance continuously crawled. Their efforts raised nearly $20,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

“We were crawling so that kids can crawl,” said Sean Duffy of the attempt. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a leading non-profit foundation for Pediatric AIDS committed to ensuring better overall medical treatments for children, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and creating a healthier future for children worldwide.

The old record, held by Peter McKinlay and John Murrie, stood at 31.44 miles since 1992 – a 13 year old record – though many have tried and failed. Sean and Leo quickly found out that there was a reason the previous record had stood for so long as they crawled 32.26 miles into what they deemed indescribable pain and physical exhaustion. Sean suffered hallucinations and motion sickness during the crawl and Leo suffered severe dehydration. Leo, talking about his crawling buddy, said that “Sean was mentally gone. He thought he was crawling on the Washington Post newspaper. Literally.” The two finished their record breaking attempt at 3:30am, two days after they had started. No breaks were longer than 15 minutes and they were even required to stay in the crawl position during their intimate moments in what they called the “poop tent.”

“Never before have I seen two humans, or any humans for that matter, go through so much pain and agony to reach a goal” said Ryan Roth, one of the hundreds of spectators attending the crawl, “An absolute Herculean effort.” Unfortunately, when the two woke up the next day, they required ambulance and emergency room attention to treat their dehydration and excess of a potentially harmful toxin called CPK – secreted from severe muscle breakdown. They were released from the E.R. with only mild injuries and smiles on their faces. “It would take about $500,000 to get me to do that again,” said Sean, noting that “every single joint, muscle, and part of my body was dying.”

A description of the event, from conception to completion (including pictures and video footage) can be found at http://www.33milecrawl.com. Thus far, they have raised $18,625 for the foundation and spread awareness of Pediatric AIDS to thousands.

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