Buddies Rack up Billiards World Record
By Cassandra Locke
Owner, B & C Advertising (official event sponsor)
SPRING LAKE, N.C. — At 2 p.m. October 10 Brian Lilley broke the first rack of balls, not knowing he and buddy Daniel Maloney would break the previous “Longest Marathon Billiards Match,” noted in the Guiness Book of World Records of 50 hours and 2 minutes at 5:03 p.m. October 12. They continued to play until 7:25 p.m. that evening to match their 52-hour goal. The competitors played more than 600 games of pool.
Lilley and Maloney worked together as ammunitions troops at Pope Air Force Base, NC, and found a common interest 7 years ago—billiards. They had competed in competitions in the local area for years until Maloney was reassigned to Moody because of the Base Realignment and Closure law.
From the time Lilley’s grandmother gave him the 1994 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as a Christmas gift, he’s since dreamed of breaking a record at some point in his life. When he came up with the idea to combine his dream and passion, he asked his friend if he wanted to partake in the event. Maloney said, “Let’s do this.”
Once the date of October 10 was established, Maloney drove 8 hours to Spring Lake to attempt the record that was established two years ago by two Englishmen. He and Lilley had their doubts, but after a roller coaster of ups and downs they managed to push through.
“The first twenty-four hours was the toughest,” said Maloney. “Then after the thirty-six-hour mark it got even tougher.”
A slab of carpet was donated by a local flooring company about 24 hours into the match because the men’s knees were hurting from walking on VCT tiling. “That helped out a lot,” said Maloney.
What started out as an individual effort to fulfill the dream of breaking the record turned into an event the local community and Lilley’s second family, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9103, of which he is a life-member, embraced. The idea then evolved into a fundraiser for the post’s building expansion efforts. The Airmen and B & C Advertising raised more than $400 for the committee from sponsorships, donations and a 50/50 raffle drawing.
“What better way to fulfill this dream than to share the opportunity with my family and friends and raise money for a worthy cause,” said Lilley.
Under Guinness World Record guidelines, the men were allowed five minutes every hour to eat and drink or go to the bathroom. Their strategy included accumulating their breaks for when fatigue heavily set in. They took a total of six 5-minute breaks and one 15-minute break. What kept them going was water, electrolytes, snacking on bananas and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the support of the spectators.
“Our post is honored to have been able to take part in this event,” said Dave Hamel, VFW Post 9103 member commander, and former 23rd Fighter Group chief enlisted manager.
The post, local sponsors, and other members of the community volunteered to work 4- to 12-hour shifts as official witnesses and nurses for the event. The Guinness guidelines state that there has to be at least two independent witnesses at a time and a nurse for every four hours of play to ensure the players were physically able to continue the marathon without injuring themselves. Also, 24 hours of video footage was required for validation purposes.
The event included up-to-date videos of Lilley and Maloney’s match and photos on www.springlakeliving.com. The website gave Lilley and Maloney’s family and friends who were unable to attend the opportunity to see them play. For those that missed the event and want to see the latest feed and photos, visit the website.
“The record is still unofficial,” said Lilley. “It will become official once Guinness verifies everything, and I don’t know how long that process will take.”
Lilley has to review the evidence and ensure all of the witnesses and nurses appropriately filled out their paperwork. Once that is complete, an official package will be sent to Guinness for them to validate their efforts. If their efforts are validated, the Airmen will be featured in the 2009 Guinness Book of World Records.