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Ugandan Patricia Ariokot’s hugging record confirmed by GWR

The Guinness World Records (GWR) has confirmed the 16 hours 6 seconds world record set by Ugandan environmentalist Faith Patricia Ariokot, for the longest time to hug a tree.

Faith Patricia Ariokot broke the world's tree hugging record

The 29-year-old wrapped her arms around a tree trunk for the longest time last month to clench the record.

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There have been at least 3 attempts on this record but non of them led to a Guinness World Record.

Ariokot says she attempted this challenge to encourage others to plant trees, and to highlight the need for humans to protect them.

Selecting a tree to hug for this record attempt she said “felt like picking a bridal dress”.

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The tree chose me, and it was like love at first sight,” she explained. “When I saw the tree, I knew it was the one I would go for.

This record differs slightly from ‘longest marathon’ records, such as the longest cooking marathon, where challengers accumulate five minutes of rest time after each continuous hour of activity.

Record attempts are considered to be ‘marathons’ only when they exceed 24 hours in length.

Thus, Faith was not permitted any breaks – her arms could not be released from the tree at any point, and she was required to stand for the entire duration of the record attempt.

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My feet for over 16 hours straight were killing me,” she recalls.

The tree with its rough surface cut into my skin and caused a lot of pain to say the least, and yet I had to keep holding on.”

This was the third time within the span of a month that Faith attempted to set the record, as her camera failed to record much of her first attempt, and her second try was cut short due to a thunderstorm.

As early as one hour in, Faith considered quitting because she was discouraged by the previous two setbacks.

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By the ninth hour, she admits she “broke down” and wanted to give up, but says she persevered after being consoled by the tree: “I believe trees really have feelings and can sense what we are going through. It gave me the comfort I needed to keep going.”

Faith now hopes that everyone who reads about her record, wherever they are in the world, will be inspired to go out and plant a tree.

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