Toppling a Guinness World Record doesn’t come easy

Editor’s note: On Feb. 10-11, University of California, Santa Barbara freshman Mike Sale played disc golf for 24 hours, breaking the Guinness World Record for most holes played in a day. His total was 1,310, which still needs to be verified by Guinness. Sale shares his experience here.

By Mike Sale — For Rattling Chains

It’s not often somebody has to be carried to the car after some rounds of disc golf.

But I was in that position. Carried to the car. Carried to the couch from the car. Throughout the day, I didn’t move unless I had to go to the bathroom. And even then, I had to be carried there. At about 11 p.m., we went to Jack-In-The-Box. I used a baseball bat as a cane and that was the first time I had stood up in 14 hours.

Before that, I slept the majority of the day. It took me more than an hour and a half to initially fall asleep because my body was so physically exhausted that I was shaking for about an hour and a half before my body finally calmed down.

Nearly two days earlier, I spent the entire day in Isla Vista, California, at the home of Mike Schnell, my college teammate. All I did was hydrate, rest, eat pasta and watch movies. At about 11 p.m., I headed back to my dorm to try and fall asleep to get some rest, but I couldn’t fall asleep until about 2 a.m.

Morning arrived quickly. Anticipation was high. I was going for a Guinness World Record and the time was upon us.

Mike Sale tees off on the record-breaking hole. (contributed photo)

Mike Sale tees off on the record-breaking hole. (contributed photo)

The event was slated to start at 9 a.m. As my teammates set up and got everything we needed to gather for evidence to submit to Guinness, I sat in the car eating a final bowl of pasta as my breakfast. I also started mentally preparing myself. I listened to some music to get me pumped up and focused on the goal — 1,306.

I also wrote four things on my arm to carry with me for the day. They said: “The only limit is the one you set for yourself;” “The will to win comes from within;” “#76” (which comes from the movie Wedding Crashers — Rule No. 76, no excuses, play like a champion); and, lastly, a cross on my wrist. Those were with me all day and, mentally, helped me immensely.

As the start time approached, I simply stretched and stepped up to my first hole ready to go. There was nothing to be nervous about at this point — it was a marathon, not a sprint.

The first five holes ended up not counting because my teammates messed up the camera work. Five birdies were wiped out quickly. But it was a good warmup and got rid of any jitters I had.

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