The longest hockey game in the world lasts 261 hours

After more than 10 consecutive days of play, 40 Alberta hockey players broke the record for the longest game in the world, breaking their own record.

The initiative began in 2012, when 40 players attempted to break the Guinness World Record for longest hockey game to raise money for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. At the time, they had raised $1.2 million after 246 hours of play, according to the band’s fundraising website. Two years later, they again broke the record by raising $1.7 million.

Now, a decade after their first world record, the players have set a new record after 261 consecutive hours of play that began March 31 and ended April 11 at the Chestermere Recreation Center in Chestermere, Alta.

“It pushed us to our limits,” Alex Halat, the Hockey Marathon for Kids founder and one of the players, told CTV News Channel on Wednesday night.

The 40 players were split into two teams of 20, each playing four hours on the ice before taking four hours off.

Halat said the game has taken a toll on players’ bodies.

“Your feet swell almost two to three sizes, both of my knees are blown out, my hips are blown out, my back is blown out,” he said. “We have people with staph infections now just from all the sweating and all the equipment. It was intimidating.”

The four hours off the ice was also barely enough to recuperate after stripping off all their hockey gear, showering, going to physical therapy, grabbing a bite to eat and heading somewhere to try to sleep. And as players left the roster due to injuries, the remaining players got more and more ice time.

Even after the match, Halat said it was difficult to get back to a regular sleep schedule.

“You know, talking to the players this morning… at 1:30 a.m. I sent a note to say, ‘Hey, who’s up? I feel like I missed a shift,” Halat said. “You keep waking up every hour and a half. And all the players were still standing.”

But despite the physical and emotional challenges of playing a 261-hour game, Halat said it doesn’t compare to the pain a cancer patient goes through.

“If you ask any of the players, for everything we’ve been through in the last 10 and a half days, they would do it a thousand times if it meant bringing a child home to their family,” Halat said.

Halat’s group is still accepting donations on its website.

“At the end of the day, cancer isn’t going anywhere for anyone, whether it’s adults or young people,” he said. “We encourage people to donate and help bring a child home.”

Catherine J. Martinez