Dedication’s what you need…
High Point: Being a World Record holder!
Low Point: Saying a final goodbye to Martha
Challenge: Records are there to be broken but I honestly think ours is almost impossible to even have a sniff at breaking.
Christmas Presents: Get the 2012 Guinness World Record book for everyone you know! We made it into one of the best books in the world!
A fitting end: After picking up the Guinness World Record with some of the team I headed back to Wimborne. Just me, Martha, the record, and the open road. It seemed very fitting to park the truck at my family home for her final day.
In an11th hour stop press moment we arrived at Guinness World Records to an incredible reception from their entire office! Just a week before we were working around the clock for 4 days to assemble what looked like a final year FTFE dissertation. To confirm our miles and route we needed to collate an incredible amount of evidence for Guinness. For myself, James and Amy it seemed nothing had changed. Only a day back from the big adventure and we we still dashing every where in the truck, working to the early hours on routes and customs documents and still wearing our FTFE crew T-shirts! Not the return to normality we were hoping for!Collecting the evidence was a journey in itself. We relived each of the 267 days, contacting as many people as possible that we’d had the pleasure to meet along the route. Their kind words about our expedition really hit home. Strangers before FTFE and very much friends after. Our FTFE witness’ were a diverse bunch, I give you a selection of just a few; a nomad in Mongolia, a German in Russia, a Kiwi in Siberia, locals in China, Canadians in Laos, fire fighters in Singapore and cowboys in the USA. On top of the witness statements each of our many border teams across the world had provided written reports on their dealings with us.
The evidence we presented:
– odometer readings and calibration from the Metropolitan Police
– customs and police reports from each of the borders and control points
– witness reports from many locations
– GPS readings
– photographic and video evidence from each location daily
– a diary of media coverage from around the world
Bound in a big folder and delivered to the Head of Guinness World Records on the 14th April 2011. It was then a waiting a game as Guinness reviewed all our evidence over the next week. A few panic calls later and we finally got ‘the’ call from the Head of Guinness World Records to come in to collect the biggest record of them all!
Challenge: I honestly believe it would be an impossible challenge for someone else to attempt. Why? Well yes the challenging team could well spend the same amount of time preparing, but the amount of good will we received due to the nature of our expedition propelled us far beyond the scope of any professional team.
Fire Engine: Martha was donated by Dorset Fire and Rescue and made battle ready by Asset Co. Through the journey Martha was fully serviced 7 times and fixed by workshops nearly 20 times!
Training: Medical, mechanical, languages and driver training were all provided by experts in their fields
Borders: Nearly all of our 14 border teams donated their time, some do not even offer these services normally!
Shipping: The ports and shipping lines jumped on-board to offer unparalleled services to FTFE
Website: Yes another team could build a website, but such a beauitful one?
Elite Team: 25 people to commit time and finances to a massive challenge
Good old fashioned luck: You can prepare all you like but sometimes you need a touch of luck. Did we make our luck, I like to think so. Was someone looking down on us, I hope so. Was Garthy helping us along our journey, I know so.
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