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The Ultimate Game of Ultimate

Beloit students break record with 72-hour game

Posted: Friday May 19, 2006 11:41AM; Updated: Friday May 19, 2006 12:00PM
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On April 9, a group of 30 Beloit (Wisc.) College students got together, and after two months of top secret planning, proceeded to break the record for longest continual game of Ultimate Frisbee. The previous record was 70 hours and 19 minutes, set by a club team in Leeds, England. But these students braved the rain, wind and hail to set a new mark of 72 hours.

You may ask why? 

"Why Not?" said Alex Tillett-Saks, one of the organizers. "Ultimate: It's just what you do when you're stuck in the middle of Wisconsin."

A group photo of the 30 Beloit College students who took part in the longest consecutive Ultimate Frisbee game ever.
A group photo of the 30 Beloit College students who took part in the longest consecutive Ultimate Frisbee game ever.
Photo Coutesy of Alex Tillett-Saks
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SIOC: Why would you want to play in the hail, rain, and wind for 72 hours?

Tillet-Sacks: We love Frisbee. We play it every day anyways. You don't make it through Beloit without ever having played Frisbee. Some people had never played, and decided to do something crazy for a weekend.

SIOC: Was it diffucult playing in Wisconsin weather?

Tillet-Sacks: I joked we got all four seasons. It hailed, in 20-degree weather Saturday. The rain and wind and Wisconsin weather just tore our tents to the ground and took out our whole base of operations. Our food, our schedules posted, our whole headquarters got blown right to the ground. That night the field was a swamp, so you couldn't walk on it. You were falling and diving, trashed and muddy. If you tried sprinting you just fell.

SIOC: Were there any casualties?

Tillet-Sacks: One of the guys has a thing thing that he doesn't wear shoes. So we told him you probably have to wear shoes, but he didn't. He twisted his ankle on Saturday night and he's just getting off crutches now. That was hard because the schedule is so regimented. I didn't sleep at all the first couple of days.

Bad weather and a mud-soaked field weren't enough to deter these Ultimate Frisbee lovers.
Bad weather and a mud-soaked field weren't enough to deter these Ultimate Frisbee lovers.
Photo Coutesy of Alex Tillett-Saks

SIOC: Did you receive any support from your fellow students?

Tillet-Sacks: It was kind of a big deal on campus. One of the frats, after their formal, came from 3-5 a.m. and had a fire on the grill. It was 30 degrees.

SIOC: What was the reaction when it was over?

Tillet-Sacks: Everybody came up to us and thought we were going to have a huge party -- 150 kids came out which is pretty impressive for a school of 1,200. Everyone expected that we would all get trashed, but a few of us drank some beers right beforehand and then everyone went home and crashed. I got excused from class the next day. The president of the college wrote us a letter, and I had a professor send me an e-mail telling me he was surprised because he didn't think we would do it.

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