By Karrie Gillett
A RECORD-breaker who has somersaulted, hopskotced and stilt-walked his way into history has set two new world-firsts.
Ashrita Furman – who has the most entries in the Guinness Book of Records – travels around the world in an effort to smash weird and whacky records.
And the New Yorker arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday to secure two new admissions in the mammoth book by catching sweets and grapes in his mouth.
The 54-year-old – managed to catch 51 malteasers in one minute – smashing the previous entry of 41.
Ashrita – who has notched up more than 200 records over 25 years – strapped a Maltese dog to his back for the first of his two attempts yesterday at a squash court in the city’s Meadowbank sports complex.
His second challenge was to catch more than 116 grapes thrown from a distance of 15 feet in three minutes.
And Ashrita – a health food store manager – managed to catch 162 to make him the current holder of 88 world records.
It was the second time the serial adventurer has visited Edinburgh after setting the record for the most pogo-stick jumps in a minute with a number of 206.
Yesterday, he described the previous Scottish challenge as one of his favourite records.
He said: “I did the last challenge at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby as it is a favourite story of mine and something which I have found inspirational. But we couldn’t do it there this year because it was so cold.
“I will have to get today’s records accepted by Guinness and then I will have 88 records to my name.”
Some of those 88 titles include the fastest man to skip a marathon and owner of the largest popcorn sculpture at 20 feet and inches.
He also holds records for the most beer glasses balanced on a chin at 88 and for eating 13 garlic cloves in one minute.
His record attempts take place all over the world – he set the record for the fastest sack race mile in Mongolia at 16 minutes 41 seconds and in Germany he smashed the fastest mile on stilts.
But Ashrita says the most outrageous record he has made to date involved pushing an orange along a New York footpath – with his nose.
Last year, he spent 22 minutes lowered to the ground on his elbows and knees pushing the fruit for one mile.
He said: “That was probably one of the weirdest records I have done. It was also incredibly difficult because I was trying to do it so fast while I was feeling a bit of pain being so low to the ground.”
And Ashrita insists his biggest reason for pursuing the titles is to show the power of endurance.
He said: “I’m trying to show others out human capacity is unlimited if we truly believe in ourselves.
“I practice a lot for some of the records, especially the last two done today. I have to learn how to focus and spend weeks training myself to block everything out and just go for it.”