Bungy jumper sets new 24-hour record

Central Leader - - WINTERWARMER - STAFF RE­PORTER

An Auck­land man has more than dou­bled the pre­vi­ous Guin­ness World Record for the most bungy jumps done in 24 hours.

Mike Heard moon-walked, stepped, jumped and som­er­saulted off the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge 430 times by 7.15pm Wed­nes­day.

The 35-year old was aim­ing for just 200 jumps in 24 hours, but achieved this goal just 12 hours into the chal­lenge, and kept on go­ing un­til the timer stopped.

He even blew his own es­ti­mate out of the wa­ter.

Just af­ter mid­day Tues­day he said he would prob­a­bly do 400 jumps by the end but ad­mit­ted that was a con­ser­va­tive guess.

‘‘It’s hard to guess how many I’ll do be­cause every time I say a num­ber, we go over it,’’ Heard said.

To put that into dol­lar terms, it costs cus­tomers $160 for their first jump at AJ Hack­ett Bungy on the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge, then $60 for every jump af­ter that.

If Heard were pay­ing his own way, it would cost him $25,900 for the 430 jumps.

Ear­lier in the day he said his body was feel­ing ‘‘re­ally good’’ - ex­cept for a few sore mus­cles around the out­side of his thighs - but his head was a dif­fer­ent story.

‘‘I’ve just done 52 in a row, and when I stop I feel like I’ve been on a boat - I ac­tu­ally feel worse when I stop than when I’m go­ing.

‘‘Jump­ing has be­come the new nor­mal.’’

Be­tween jumps Heard has man­aged to fit in rest stops, in­clud­ing bath­room breaks, two hours sleep just af­ter mid­night, and a few food breaks.

He said he wasn’t par­tic­u­larly hun­gry or sleepy, and was sur­viv­ing on ba­nanas, en­ergy drinks and power-naps.

He did 48 jumps in the first hour then paced him­self to 25 jumps per hour on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, then picked back up again around mid­day.

He said tech­nique was im­por­tant.

‘‘I sort of just jump straight down, be­cause the wind is com­ing from the north-west and by do­ing that I can stop my­self from spin­ning, be­cause when I spin I start to feel quite dizzy.’’

But the best jump so far was the 316th jump - dou­ble the orig­i­nal record of 158 set by Aus­tralian man Beau Re­tal­lick in 2014.

‘‘It was quite emo­tional for me, I had a lit­tle cry, I’ve got my wife here and my best friend and work mates, a very hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Heard said record at­tempt was all about rais­ing money and aware­ness for the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion. He had raised more than $7000 in do­na­tions for the char­ity by 3pm on Wed­nes­day.

AJ Hack­ett Bungy New Zealand man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Henry van Asch said Heard’s ef­fort was ex­cep­tional.

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