Not every 6-year-old can brag that he stumbled upon a world record in the making.
Aiden Scott of Castleton can.
Aiden and friend Braden Howe, 9, of East Greenbush, were at the SportsPlex Saturday watching their sisters play soccer when they got to see four men in the midst of a 24-hour dodgeball marathon.
“I just saw them when I came up,” Aiden said.
Professional dodgeballers Rob Immel of Malta, Mark Rabideau of Albany and J.P. Richards and Oren Gal, both of Toronto, aimed to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for their day-long stint. In addition to trying to set a world record, the event also was a benefit for the Make a Wish Foundation, raising about $1,500.
With only five-minute breaks every hour during the marathon and no sleep, the four members of the New York Epic appeared to be running on adrenaline, bananas, energy bars and Gatorade after 16 hours.
“I really don’t know how we’re doing it,” Immel said. “I might not wake up until Christmas.”
Playing from 3 to 7 a.m. was the toughest, Richards said.
“At 5 a.m., they all got the 5 a.m. giggles and they were just cracking up, acting like lunatics,” said Sammie Richards, J.P.’s wife.
They faced off against a team cobbled together of friends and supporters from 7:30 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday. Then, various five-person amateur and recreational dodgeball teams arrived and played for an hour each against the pro players.
The team that scored the most against the pros would walk away with $1,000.
“They’re still playing well, even though they’ve been playing for 16 hours,” Sammie Richards said at noon.
Their opponents agreed.
“They’ve got a lot of endurance,” said John Vandish of Saratoga Springs after two hours of competition for the “Dark Knights” team. “I’m sucking wind, and I work out every day.”
Members of “FNA,” a team of local men who work in construction, were nearly equal to the professional players in their lack of sleep Friday night.
“We’ve all been up all night plowing,” said Mike Momrow, 35, of Ballston Spa, before he began the one-hour session of matches against the Epic.
Immel, 27, has been on the pro dodgeball team since 2005. The National Dodgeball League has exhibitions from February through August all over the country and ends its season in August with the world championships.
Pro dodgeball players aren’t paid, although their travel expenses customarily are.
A physical education teacher at Milton Terrace North Elementary School in Ballston Spa, Immel got the idea for the record this summer after watching Michael Phelps walk away with gold medal after gold medal in the Olympics.
“I wanted my own, and I thought, ‘How come dodgeball isn’t in the Olympics?’ ” he said.
Instead, he hit on holding the longest dodgeball marathon and applied to the Guinness Book of World Records, and he started planning in August. To qualify, they trained two cameras on the players all day and had witnesses watching to confirm that the participants played all 24 hours.
Immel said no one has ever entered a dodgeball marathon into the Guinness Book before.
Immel said his students are excited about the world record: “They know my dodgeball experience; they love it.”
Although some of his students want to play dodgeball in class, he doesn’t let them.
“I make it clear to them that dodgeball is not a safe, appropriate game for physical education class,” Immel said. “If they get hit with a big, huge red rubber ball, they’re not going to like that.”
Rabideau, 22, is a fourth-grade teacher at the school, and the two are friends off the court.
Soaking wet with sweat after jumping, throwing and dodging the balls being thrown at them, the men changed their undershirts, wrist bands and shorts but kept their Epic team shirts on the whole time.
“I had to wring out my wristbands,” Richards said during a 5-minute break.
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