Farmington area residents teamed up over the weekend to help Zap Zone celebrate its 25th anniversary by breaking two world records.
The Farmington and Canton Zap Zones have been recognized by Guinness World Records for hosting the Longest Laser Tag Marathon – 26 hours and 40 seconds, smashing the previous 25-hour record – and the Largest Winner Stays On Laser Tag Tournament with the most participants in a single day.
The records were confirmed on Sunday evening by officials from The Guinness Book of World Records.
“Our goal was 250 participants in the tournament, but we ended the contest with 974 players,” Kimberly Elliston, executive manager for Zap Zone, said in a press release. “Going for the marathon record is something we have wanted to do for a long time. The idea of going for the world record for the longest marathon was originally presented by one of our managers a few years ago. Doing it now, for our 25th anniversary, made great sense. Especially when you consider our official anniversary date is August 25th.”
Farmington and Farmington Hills city councils and their families kicked off the competition.
”I am proud to say that Team Lerner lasted the longest of the city teams (five rounds), before being knocked off by a group of teens and 20-somethings,” Hills council member Richard Lerner said. “Laser tag is obviously young person’s game.”
Lerner said that Farmington and Farmington Hills competitors also included Farmington Civic Theater manager Scott Freeman; Chris DeYonke and his “band of five” from North Farmington High and Farmington STEAM Academy; Jeff, Hank and Zach Burns-Pavlick from Sunflour Bakehaus; Lori and Dave Sawyer; Kate Wardle; Jared Berlinski; Mary Newlin and Miss Oakland County Grace Newlin; and Thomas Donovan.
Elliston said that when planning to set the longest marathon, Zap Zone learned of another world record: Longest Winner Stays On Tournament.
“We decided we had to go for that one, too,” she said.
Zap Zone assembled a team of 16 players with three alternates consisting of “our all-star employees from across Michigan, as well as some longtime customers,” explained Elliston. “They trained for months. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Players tagged each other a total of 46,315 times throughout this 26-hour marathon.
Those participants were: Jacob Chasse, Kayla Hamelin, Mishael Bingham, Ethan Brandon, Richard Spicer, James Brandell, Justin Green, David Graham, Aaron Saxton, Andrew Robinson, Devin Durr, Jonathan Judycki, Austin Lay, Stephen Davis, Thomas Balleza, and Tyler Warner. Emergency Reserve participants were: Justin Loveless, Terrence Peugh, and Sam Baetzel. Event Organizers/Facilitators were: Dana Hermann, and Ghelan Ismail. Evidence Photographer: Ryan McLachlan.