05/05/2012 04:45 EDT | Updated 07/05/2012 05:12 EDT

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A marathon hockey game to raise money for the Alberta Children's Hospital is getting support from people across Canada.

Over the next 10½ days, 40 players from Calgary will attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest hockey game. The game started at noon Sunday at the Chestermere Recreation Centre.

Hockey Marathon event co-ordinator Lesley Plumley said going for a world record helps to bring in donations.

"The Guinness Book of World Records is fantastic for motivation for the players, for sure," she said.

"We have donations because of this world record — all the way over into Nova Scotia, people are donating money online. We are really quite excited, and I think it's a really good opportunity for everybody.”

Roughly $600,000 was raised before the opening ceremonies, so Plumley is confident they will surpass their $1.5 million goal for pediatric cancer research and intensive care equipment.