Clinton Shepherd broke the world record for longest Ferris wheel ride while spending more than 48 hours on the Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier in Chicago, Ill. Shepherd serves as the park operations manager at the Navy Pier, the most popular tourist attraction in Chicago, the Associated Press reports.
Shepherd told CBS Chicago he was attempting to break the record to not only get his name in the Guinness Book of World Records but to celebrate his hometown. Chicago is the birthplace of the Ferris wheel, with the first such ride being built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
Shepherd thought it was fitting to bring the record back to its birthplace and rode the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier over the weekend. Shepherd broke the previous world record and spent 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds on the Ferris wheel. The record was previously held by Robbie "the Intern" Gibson and 104.9 Virgin Radio, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Gibson rode the Ferris wheel at the Capital Ex in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the Ferris wheel ride was broadcasted live by the “Pepper and Dylan” morning radio show.
Shepherd had plenty of help from his fellow Chicagoans, CBS Chicago notes. As part of the challenge, the Guinness Book of World Records allowed one 5-minute break every hour. Shepherd spent his time riding the Ferris wheel playing video games, including online sessions of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” with friends in Chicago, and watching James Bond movies and the recent Batman trilogy. Food was provided by vendors and restaurants located around the pier.
Shepherd’s mother and girlfriend met him after he broke the record. Speaking to CBS Chicago, Shepherd said, “Once I realized Navy Pier, my friends, my family and the city of Chicago had my back and wanted me to complete this, it became easy.”
A video of Shepherd aboard the Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier, modeled after the original Chicago World’s Fair designs, can be viewed below. Shepherd being greeted by his mother and girlfriend after breaking the record can also be viewed below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.