Ashfield Bowling Club Chairman Don Latham is set to have a second crack at a new Guinness World record for continuous lawn bowling after his 32-hour world-beating marathon was cut short by a burst blister.
The 60-year-old local decided to make a record 40-hour attempt for a fundraiser as the inner-west Sydney venue is in desperate need of an upgrade, including a protective sail cloth to ensure their existing outdoor area can be used in all weather.
Don, a member of the club for about a decade, vice-chairman for the past three years and now chairman, started his effort on Friday evening and finished at 2am on Sunday.
A fellow member suggested he burst the blister and patch it up with superglue. But that proved too painful to continue and he had to stop.
“We had a beer at the club after and people wanted to buy me more beers, but I said ‘No I’m going home’,” said Don who lives a few minutes’ walk away.
“It was a little bit disappointing, but 32 hours without sleep, that’s a lot for a 60-year-old man.”
He was allowed several rest and toilet breaks over the duration of the attempt and was supported by a roster of fellow players who he beat resoundingly 379-293. After a few more beers, he got to bed at 3:30am.
How did he feel the next day?
“Pretty sore,” he said. “Especially at the buttocks because you are bending down a lot.”
The club managed to raise close to more than $3500, including selling black Don Is Good T-shirts, but that’s just a drop in the bucket of the $1m required for full renovations, including the outdoor area and a new kitchen.
“The current one is unworkable and can’t cater for a crowd,” Don said.
“We are a community space,” adds club manager Santo Schinella. “We don’t charge for functions and as soon as it rains, no one comes.”
The club did have $3m in the bank, but the savings were used to run the business and pay wages, so much of it was spent, leaving around half a million dollars.
Don will have a second crack at hitting the 40-hour mark in September or October to raise more money.
“We will make it at the end of the year, that way, no one can beat it by the end of the year as it takes a while to get all the information together.”
If you think you can support Ashfield Bowling Club with their renovations contact https://www.facebook.com/ashfieldbowlingclub/