Alberta's 'Marathon Man' Scores World Record Soccer Game

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MARTIN PARNELL
Martin Parnell, Alberta's 'Marathon Man' scores world record soccer game. (CP) | CP

Alberta's "Marathon Man" Martin Parnell helped to break yet another world record Sunday for his part in longest five-on-five indoor soccer game, played in Cochrane, just west of Calgary.

Parnell — who ran 250 marathons in 2010 — and members of the Cochrane Rangers Soccer Club played for 42 hours and one minute straight at a game, beating the previous record of 40 hours.

"I'm dead tired ... [but] this was amazing," said the 56-year-old athlete. "The folks I played with ... did a fantastic job."

It's the latest world record for Parnell, who has spent the last two years competing in quests to help raise $1 million for Right to Play — a charity dedicated to ensuring Third World kids have access to sports.

"$50 helps a child for a year with a Right to Play program.... Everyone's equal when you play sports, so that was really the spark that led me to Right to Play and to helping kids through play," said Parnell.

Some of Parnell's other accomplishments include a world record for the longest netball game at 67 hours and playing lacrosse for 24 hours straight.

This newest record attempt raised more than $35,000, including almost $7,000 from a penny drive.

The event, dubbed Soccer Quest 42, started Friday at 6 p.m. and ended Sunday at noon.

Final score: 381-346

Players were not allowed to leave the centre and were restricted to certain spots, such as the washrooms, an eating area and four change rooms — two of which are designated to napping.

The final score of the game was 381 to 346.

A Guinness official was on hand to confirm the record was broken.

Guinness adjudicator Michael Empric flew in from New York to supervise the record-breaking game, and presented Parnell and his group with an official certificate.

Empric said the previous record for the longest five-a-side soccer was 40 hours, which was set in the U.K. in May 2011.

The players say they'll now head home for a shower and some sleep, but Parnell says he is not slowing down anytime soon and will be back to attempt another record soon.

The game was played at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre in Cochrane, Alta., located roughly 25 minutes west of Calgary.

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