THRILLSEEKER Marcus Gaines believes he has broken a world record – by riding a bumper car at a funfair for more than a day.
The 36-year-old rode a dodgem at Funland on Hayling Island for a total of 26 hours, nine minutes and 45 seconds.
Marcus is a self-confessed funfair fanatic, having ridden more than 1,000 rollercoasters around the world and visited all but one of the Disney theme parks.
But even he was tested to the limit as he bumped and crashed his way to a potential world record.
Marcus said: ‘The first 10 hours were great.
‘The park was open and there were lots of people coming to ride with me.
‘The public were patting me on the back, saying “great cause”, “you’re mad” and “go for it”.
‘That didn’t stop them crashing into me and giving me some gentle taps, shall we say!
‘But when the park closed and it was just two people driving, it was dull and tedious.
‘By three or four in the morning, it was like “when is this going to end?”’
The wacky charity challenge took more than a year to set up as Marcus had to organise witnesses, video footage and friends to volunteer to ride bumper cars during the night.
Dodgems bring back lots of happy memories for Marcus.
He grew up in Wickham, where his family owned a long-running newsagents and every year his family would ride the bumper cars at the village fair, including his two grandmas, Kitty Gaines and Gladys Page.
Both of them died around 20 years ago from bowel cancer and Marcus wanted to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.
Marcus, who lives in Southampton and works as a cameraman for the BBC, got through the challenge by munching his way through 14 bananas, 10 Cadbury’s Boost bars and a 2kg jar of pretzels.
He was able to take a five minute break every hour, but often accumulated these and took breaks of up to 15 minutes.
He was left with bruises and a creaky knee after holding his body in a fixed position for so long.
And he was covered in black soot from the sparks flying from the top of the bumper car.
Marcus said: ‘By the end of the 26 hours, I was caked in black soot!
‘My two year old son watched the last hour of the challenge and he couldn’t even recognise me.
‘Everyone gave me a big round of applause and the owners gave me champagne.
‘I could not believe I had actually done it.
‘It was real euphoria that it was over and I could get out of the car and walk around.
‘Having the support of people just made it more bearable and kept me going.’
Marcus’ feat is set to beat the existing world record of 25 hours and 29 seconds on a dodgem at Southend, but he is still waiting for final confirmation.
His challenge raised a total of £325 for Bowel Cancer UK.
Marcus said: ‘Every 15 minutes, someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer.
‘It’s the third most common form of cancer. If you can catch it early enough, it’s curable.’
To donate to Marcus’ cause, visit justgiving.com/bumpercar.