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People You Should Know: Suresh Joachim, Canada’s #1 World Record Breaker


Meet Suresh Joachim, 41, Canada’s #1 world record-breaker.

Clad in a smart black suit and a pair of designer sunglasses, Suresh Joachim proudly splays on the table before him the dozens of laminated certificates he’s received from Guinness World Records for his wide array of stunning and unusual feats.

Joachim holds the world records for the farthest distance moon walked in 24 hours (49.252 km); longest escalator ride (225 km); longest continual crawl (56.62 km); continuous ironing (55 hours, five minutes) and the most time spent watching TV (69 hours and 48 minutes at the ABC studios in New York), to name just a few. The Mississauga man is Canada’s number one world record breaker.

His latest feat took place at the Scarborough Town Centre earlier this month when Joachim set the new world record for static cycling by spinning his wheels for 200 hours over nine days, raising money for Operation Eyesight Universal, a Scarborough-based charity that fights to prevent avoidable blindness around the world.

Courtesy, Suresh Joachim

This month’s accomplishment marks his 63rd world record. He plans to celebrate his 64th this September when he’ll attempt to push a car 50 kilometres over 24 hours at Blessed Mother Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Markham.

Joachim, a married father of two young boys, is known for his funny and incredible stunts, but the motivating factor behind his peculiar list of achievements has a more serious tone. Growing up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, a city plagued for years by ethnic violence, he decided to dedicate his life to raising awareness and money for children in need and anti-violence initiatives.

In just under two years Joachim plans to turn that lofty childhood dream into a reality with his world peace marathon. Starting in Bethlehem on Dec. 25, 2012, he plans to run in 55 countries, wrapping up the tour in Toronto on June 24, 2013. His fundraising goal is an incredible $1 billion.

“In every city I’m trying to run more than 5,200 km in the capitals. There I will get more media attention,” he told CityNews.ca.

Joachim isn’t one to dodge a daunting task.

He co-produced and starred in the action film Sivappu Mazhai, shot in Chennai, India in the spring of 2009. The picture set a number of records, including the fastest feature-length film ever made. The picture took 11 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes to create, from script to screen.

“I’m very confident after making this movie I can act in a normal movie,” Joachim said.

The two and a half hour film was released with English subtitles earlier this year and tells the tale of a Sri Lankan Tamil who travels to India and kidnaps a minister’s daughter. More than 1,000 people worked on the $1 million-project.

His second movie will be released in about six months, he said, and with it he’ll try and set the world record for the most red carpet appearances by a film star in 12 hours. He’ll fly by helicopter to eight Indian states to promote his picture.

And he has a third film in the works, which he said deals with violence at universities — he noted no one event in particular inspired the project. He’ll attempt to break a record by playing 35 characters. He wrote the script and will also take on directorial duties, he explained.

Joachim said he finances his endeavours through sponsorships.

“I meet a lot of people day by day and talk to them,” he said.

In his second film he’ll also attempt to break the world record for the largest bouquet in a movie with an arrangement made up of 200,000 roses. He’s hoping a corporate sponsor will jump at the chance to have its logo weaved into the garland.

And on the subject of flowers, Joachim broke the record for the largest bouquet when he married Christa Rasanayagam in Mississauga in 2003. That arrangement was 62.09 metres in length.

Joachim’s nuptials broke other records, including most groomsmen (47), and most bridesmaids (79) – they ranged in age from 18 months to 83-years. His wife would’ve had more attendants but “I couldn’t get more saris,” he said. “That was the problem.”

Aside from the quirky records, including most candles on a cake (30,150); most eggs held in the hand (19); most golf balls in the hand (18) and fastest time to eat a lemon (30.97 seconds), Joachim has pulled off some incredible feats of endurance.

In 1996 he ran 3.495 km every hour for 1,000 consecutive hours in Colombo. In 2004 he broke the solo drumming record in Switzerland (84 hours) and that same year he set the world record for the fastest time to run 100 miles (161 km) on a treadmill at Square One in Mississauga with a time of 13 hours, 42 minutes and 33 seconds.

“I can break any of the records in the world, endurance type,” Joachim boasted.

He said he’s been approached by Olympic trainers, but turned down the offers.

“If I come to you and you train me for four years I’m wasting my time so I get one Olympic record, no problem,” but, he said, that would hinder his efforts to break 500 records.

He also balanced on one foot for a record 76 hours and 40 minutes in 1997 – a feat so physically painful he refuses to ever try it again.

“You can pay me 10 million bucks, I won’t do it,” he said, noting Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa asked him to attempt the feat again on their show.

Joachim’s obsession with record breaking began in 1991 in Colombo while he was studying to become an accountant. His uncle handed him a copy of the shiny book and he said he was inspired when he saw celebrities like Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson.

“I always say, if he can do it, why can’t I do it?”

Joachim has 100 record attempts in the works, ready to go, he said, including driving a car at 140 km/h for 24 hours.

The prolific record breaker said he credits his religious faith and his strong concentration for his success.

“I never think about the failing side,” he said.

“God is with me all the time, he gives me power [to deal with pain].”

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