Official Guinness world record for Lisburn man's drumming marathon in memory of partner

A Northern Ireland man has received his Guinness World Records certificate of participation for the longest marathon drumming, marking the third time he has achieved the goal.

The 150 hours and one minute record was achieved by Ali Brown from Lisburn last July and means he has now entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the third time.

The triple world record holder played 2,500 songs in total and was sleep-deprived for almost a week, tested his physical and mental endurance to the limit to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer and mental health.

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The event, which started early on Sunday, July 16th saw Ali drum almost continuously through night and day with friends, family, supporters and physios calling in to the Lisburn Music Centre to boost morale, keep him awake and ease the pain.

He took on this epic endurance event in memory of his late partner Sharon Deegan, who he lost to pancreatic cancer in January 2021 aged 49 and raised a total of £24,000.

Half the funds raised went to local pancreatic cancer charity NIPANC to be invested into raising awareness about the symptoms of the disease, research and supporting families who face a diagnosis of this devastating illness.

The rest of the proceeds went to the UK charity, Mind after Ali struggled with mental ill health after nursing Sharon for over three years before she died.

Ali and his late partner Sharon who died of pancreatic cancer in 2021
Ali and his late partner Sharon who died of pancreatic cancer in 2021 -Credit:Ali Brown/Crowdfunder

Ali said: “I can’t thank people enough for all the support they showed me over those five days last summer. My family, my friends, my amazing support team who kept me going when the going on occasions got really tough.

“They kept me watered, fed and awake. It’s thanks to them and all the support I received from people, including strangers coming in to wish me well that I managed to achieve my dream.

“It was my ambition to raise as much awareness about these two causes which are so close to my heart and I believe, with everybody’s help we’ve achieved that. I’m also grateful to the physiotherapists who gave up their free time and skills to help me out.”

He explained: “I trained myself for the last 10 months to cope with sleep deprivation by staying awake for 24 hours at weekends so my body and mind can get used to it.

“Guinness rules allow a five-minute break every hour which you can save up and it all has to be recorded and verified, so I accumulated the time to eat, take bathroom breaks and have power naps when I most needed them later in the week.”

Duncan Campbell, who previously played in the band Universal Remedy with Ali and has been his friend for 30-years has played the lead role in ensuring his friend’s success.

“I’m so proud of Ali and what he has achieved. Getting the certificate is a huge accolade and a testament to all the hard work, preparation and endurance he put himself through. It was a privilege to support him through this incredible journey.”

“I helped Ali through the last two world record attempts. We’ve both learned so much since then about nutrition and the art of distraction in helping to keep him awake and performing.

“All the things like caffeine and sugar you would think would help, don’t because of the crash that comes after. We’ve paid attention to what he eats, hydration and when he sleeps. Learning from the last two has really helped with this.”

Pancreatic cancer surgeon, Mark Taylor and NIPANC Board Member said: “It’s fantastic to see Ali’s triumph officially verified by Guinness World Records. What an outstanding achievement. We were all in awe of Ali and his ability to endure for this length of time.

“Back in July, I was calling in and out of the Lisburn Music Centre all week as well as watching him drum into the small hours of the morning on Drumathon Live. I know the dark hours just before dawn were particularly difficult for him.

“Simply incredible what he has done, and boy has he put pancreatic cancer awareness on the map; potentially helping to save lives. From all of us at NIPANC, Ali, a huge congratulations on this major achievement. Sharon would be so proud.”

You can catch Allister’s victory on www.drumathon.live. If you would like to donate to NIPANC, please follow the link here.

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