Airmen break Guinness Book of World Records

  • Published
  • By Cassandra Locke
  • Owner, B & C Advertising (official event sponsor)
At 2 p.m. Oct. 10, Brian Lilley, former Pope Air Force Base, N.C., Airman broke the first rack of balls not knowing he and Senior Airman Daniel Maloney from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., would break the previous 50-hour and two-minute Guinness Book of World Record at 5:03 p.m. Oct. 12 for "Longest Marathon Billiards Match". 

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.

Mr. Lilley and Airman Maloney worked together as ammunitions troops at Pope and found a common interest seven years ago... billiards. 

They had competed in competitions in the local area for years until Airman Maloney was reassigned to Moody due to the Base Realignment and Closure transfer. 

Airman Maloney is part of the 23rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron under the 23rd Flying Tigers Wing at Moody. 

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. 

"Let's do this," said Airman Maloney. 

Once the date of Oct. 10 was established, Airman Maloney drove eight hours to Spring Lake to attempt the record that was established two years ago by two Englishmen. The two had their doubts, but after a roller coaster of ups and downs they managed to push through. 

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 Airman 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, then 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 five 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 four to twelve 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 Airman Maloney's match and photos on The Web site gave Lilley and Airman 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."

Now that the record has been broken, Mr. Lilley has to review the evidence and ensure all of the witnesses and nurses appropriately filled out their paperwork. Once that is complete, then an official package will be sent to Guinness for them to validate their efforts. When their efforts are validated, the Airmen will be featured in the 2009 Guinness Book of World Records.