Fairfield Half Marathon to attempt world record for largest group shower
FAIRFIELD — Four hundred and fifty people showering together. For five minutes. With firefighters dousing them from ladder trucks and an American flag in the background.
That’s what Steve Lobdell, race director of the Fairfield Half Marathon and retired fire captain, wants to accomplish at the June 2 half-marathon race, in order to break a Guinness World Record.
“We’re looking for ways to increase our participation and raise more money for nonprofits and charities,” Lobdell said at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Nov. 14.
“Fifteen years ago or so, we were one of the top three half-marathons in the state and now there’s about 30 so people go around the corner to look for other (events),” he said.
According to Guinness World Records, the current record for most people showering simultaneously in a single venue belongs, not coincidentally, to the soap brand Irish Spring. A total of 396 people showered together at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del., this past summer.
Lobdell described the precautions and structure of how the “showering” would take place.
“We have crowd-control barricades. We’re going to be working closely with Guinness, and safety is our No. 1 issue. It’ll be a fun event and something to lead us into the summer,” Lobdell said.
According to the race director, there will be no fees charged, and runners and local families are encouraged to partake in the action.
A Guinness World Record representative confirmed the Irish Spring record still holds. The representative said guidelines include there must be enough showers to cover all participants at the same time, all participants must move freely in order to get wet, and all participants must use shower gel or soap.
Commissioners inquired about plans for water runoff, a rain date (the event takes place rain or shine) and one asked if “people would be encouraged to stay clothed.”
Lobdell assured that Guinness has strict requirements, and women would be in sports attire and men in running shorts. “It’s very family-friendly,” Lobdell said.
The Parks and Recreation Commission approved the request unanimously, but not without some scattered laughs from the audience.
“Do we get to bring our own bubble soap?” a meeting attendee asked.
Fairfield is no stranger to breaking Guinness World Records. Last year, Madison Greenspan, then 12-years-old, broke the world record for most slime ever made at one time, coming in at 13,280 pounds.