Monday, February 26, 2024

Braveheart Mark James smashes world record

Mark James launches his marathon against Lisa Aitken
Mark James is well into his marathon as he plays against Lisa Aitken

Scottish Masters ace Mark James plays 78 consecutive matches in 32 hours
By JENNIFER BROADLEY – Squash Mad Reporter in Scotland


A Scottish squash player is celebrating after breaking the world record for playing the biggest number of matches one after the other.

Last weekend (from June 19-21), Mark James made a bold attempt at setting a new world record. The registered world record for ‘Most consecutive opponents, squash singles’ had been set in 2011 at 69 matches played in 32 hours.

At 8pm on Saturday June 20, Mark broke that record by playing 78 consecutive matches in 22 hours (Note: still to be authenticated by Guinness World Records).

Angus taxi driver Mark, aged 48, has been a Scottish and national Squash Masters player for more than 10 years. He is in good company at Montrose Squash Club training alongside other high achievers, including Lisa Aitken (WSA top 100), Peter Buchan (Masters) and Boyd Kidd (Masters).

Last year when Mark’s mother mentioned she would do one final fund raising push for the charity she chairs – Nuyumbani, where HIV+ Orphans Matter – Mark said: ‘I’ll break a world record for you and fundraise at the same time’.

His aim was to raise £5,000 by having 80 players pledge money to play. He has broken that target and the Just Giving page will remain open so that people can share the link when they share the story:

After recovering for 48 hours, Mark was interviewed and asked ‘Was breaking this record what you expected?’

He said: ‘The physical side was much more; it was exhausting. And the mental side was gruelling, tedious and mind-numbing.

‘The first 35 matches I felt like I rattled through them quite quickly. The seconde set of 40 plus matches – that’s when the endurance element kicked in and my body started to slow down significantly.

‘The amount of support I had through the day and night was amazing. People stayed to watch at 3am, 5am and for hours at a time – I was astonished by that.’

We asked Mark ‘If this record was challenged and beaten, would you do this again?’. He wasn’t as quick to say no as he could have been, saying: ‘I perhaps wouldn’t re-challenge this particular record, but already I have a plan for other squash-related records’.

That’s exclusive to ! Watch this space then for more extraordinary squash stories from Mark James and the growing tribe of squash enthusiasts at Montrose and throughout Scotland.

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