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Swiss DJ sets new world record

Christoph Stöckli more than four days in a department store window swissinfo.ch

A DJ from the Swiss capital, Bern, has booked his place in the Guinness Book of World Records, by successfully completing a marathon 105-hour radio session.

This content was published on July 28, 2002 - 15:02

Christoph Stöckli from Radio Extra Bern began his record-breaking attempt at 6am on Wednesday and finished at 3pm on Sunday.

During the mammoth session Stöckli faced many challenges - staying awake, sticking to Guinness guidelines and remaining focused as hunger and fatigue set in.

Survival strategy

However before the marathon musical stint, the 33-year-old DJ developed a clearly defined survival strategy with the help of the current record-holder, Uta Jentjens from Germany, who pulled off a 101-hour session last year.

"She told me to dance a lot to the music to keep me awake and to take a shower or go to sleep in my breaks," he told swissinfo. "I have breaks every eight hours for 15 minutes and she told me to get my friends to come along to tell me jokes because funny things will keep me awake."

The book's publishers initially requested that Stöckli play for 110 hours as they wanted him to smash the world record rather than just beat it, but the Bernese DJ negotiated them down to 105 hours.

Shop window location

The whole thing was staged in a temporary studio in the shop window of one of Bern's leading department stores, Loeb.

At first sight it seemed like a rather strange choice of location, but the Guinness rules stipulate that it must be done in public under the watchful gaze of four moderators: a doctor or trained medic, two witnesses and a DJ assistant.

According to the rules, he also had to play songs lasting between two and six minutes and he had say something before or after all of them. "I had to go to the toilet during the longer songs and be back before they ended," he grinned.

Now Stöckli is waiting to hear if his record-breaking success will be included in the next edition of the world famous book. But given that he followed all the Guinness guidelines, it should be a "fait accompli".

Crazy idea

Stöckli first had the idea to do what he calls his "crazy thing" many years ago, when he used to party from Friday night through to Sunday morning. But he said he wanted to do it in a professional rather than a party capacity.

He planned his DJ marathon for more than two months with the full support of his colleagues at Radio Extra Bern. However, he said none of them expressed any desire to swap places with him.

"All of my colleagues say they're happy it's not them as they say they're tired after just 12 hours!" he mused.

Training

Although training for such a feat was more a question of learning to cope with sleep deprivation than anything else, Stöckli did make a few lifestyle changes by giving up caffeine, alcohol and energy drinks two months ago. He also took up yoga to focus his mind.

Without these stimulants, which are banned during the marathon session, Stöckli kept up his energy levels by eating fruit and starchy foods such as rice and pasta.

"I had to drink four litres of water every 24 hours and lots of freshly-pressed juices, and eat carbohydrate foods to make sure that my blood sugar was at a constant level," he said.

The world record attempt was broadcast live on Radio Extra Bern, with only the regular news bulletins interrupting it. Everyone at the radio station was thrilled that one of these bulletins included the news that their colleague, Stöckli, was the new title holder.

by Sally Mules

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