(CNS) – A Los Angeles Police Department detective today began an attempt at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ride on a Ferris wheel. Detective Gus Martinez, who has been in the LAPD since 1994, is seeking to ride the 130-foot-tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel for 25 hours through 8:30 a.m. Friday in an attempt to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Southern California.
Martinez said he has the endurance skills needed to break the record as he is often awake 25 to 30 hours at a time. The record of 24 hours 30 minutes was set in October in Dublin, Ireland.
He will be periodically joined in the Ferris wheel gondola by his 23- year-old son, Jason, who has Down syndrome and has won more than 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming competitions. Additional family members, friends and fellow law enforcement officers will also join him.
The public can ride the Pacific Wheel during Pacific Park’s exclusive after-hours from 8 p.m. to midnight for $5, with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Southern California. Martinez called being a Special Olympics Southern California coach and his work with his son “life changing.”
“Special Olympics athletes are real athletes … no endorsements … no scholarships … just pure joy to train and compete,” Martinez said. “Being in this SOSC world of athletes, parents, volunteers … it’s a bit of change from working with the crime-related activity I typically focus on day in and day out.”
Donations can be made at pacpark.com/worldrecord/involved. All donors will receive a $10 off coupon Sports Authority.
Once an online donation is confirmed, the donor can guess how many rotations the Pacific Wheel will make during the 25-hour world record attempt. The person coming closest — without going over — will receive a private one- hour ride on the Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel during non-operating hours with four guests and a meal from The Lobster restaurant.