Local teen sets sight on world record

November 16, 2010

By Rebecca Collins

Crab-walking is not a usual pastime for a teenage boy, but Cameron Jones is no ordinary teenage boy. He has been fascinated by Guinness World Records his whole life and has spent years attempting to break many of them. His current mission? Crab-walking 10 meters in less than seven seconds.

“The best that I can remember is going to Barnes & Noble and getting a Guinness World Records book,” Cameron said, when asked when his interest in world records began. “I was skimming through it and I realized, ‘Hey, I could beat some of these.’ From then on, it pretty much became a passionate hobby of mine.

“I submitted one for crab-walking because I knew I could do it,” he added about applying for another record attempt.

“When I was his age, I bought the book, you know, because it was fun to read about stuff, but I never tried to break any records,” said Cameron’s father, Steve Jones. “Everybody who hears about him going for the record laughs and then smiles and then realizes, ‘Wow that’s actually really cool.’ Here’s a 14-year-old who has a legitimate shot at a world record. To be best in the world at something is really unique.”

After sending in his application, Cameron, the third of four children and a student at Pacific Cascade Middle School, received an e-mail back from a Guinness World Records public relations and marketing assistant, Sara Wilcox, inviting him to participate in the annual Guinness World Records Day in New York City.

His initial e-mail response to the generous offer was, “Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am only 14 and have about $200, I will not be able to attend in New York City.”

Wilcox’s response caught the Jones family off guard when she asked if he would be able to go to New York if Guinness covered the expenses. Needless to say, Cameron changed his mind.

Eighty percent of the Guinness World Records book is updated and changed every year, and Nov. 18 is a day in which many of those changes occur. Guinness World Records Day was originally organized to celebrate the highest-selling copyright book of all time — the Guinness World Records set its own world record at 100 million copies. Now, it is a day for people around the world to set their records and get their name in the book. Cameron will be one of thousands of contestants trying for all kinds of records including longest conga line and largest human awareness ribbon.

Cameron explained that while he was messing around with his friends over the years and trying just for fun to break records in the book, he was simultaneously working on records in an entirely different realm that Guinness offers — video games. Guinness World Records acquired the website www.bragster.com, a social site where participants dare each other and compete in different tasks, many of them being video game related. Cameron held the record for the farthest hammer throw in the “Mario” and “Sonic Olympic Games” before the site shut down in August.

He has been practicing crab-walking three or four days a week for the past month at a park down the hill from his house. The park has field turf and allows for easy practice when the weather is not good. He and his family measured off the 10-meter length and Cameron has been consistently crab-walking the distance in about four seconds.

“We are very proud of him. I think it’s really fun,” said Cameron’s father, Steve. “Our whole family made a bucket list of goals, and ironically, two of Cameron’s goals were to break a world record and be in the book and another one was to visit New York. To have those combined has been kind of a fortuitous accident.”

Rebecca Collins is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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