And now for some breaking news. Record-breaking, that is.
Nearly 2,000 people turned out in Ketchikan Saturday afternoon to break the Guinness World Record for the largest rainboot race.
According to official U.S. Census records, Ketchikan’s population is just shy of 13,800 people. That’s the whole borough, not just the city. A couple hundred at a time will get together for plays or concerts, but it’s very rare – perhaps unprecedented in the community’s history – for nearly 2,000 people in Ketchikan to congregate in one place, at one time for a single purpose.
But, on a beautiful afternoon with just a sprinkling of rain to get people in the proper mood before the clouds lifted, it happened. A sea of people, all wearing rainboots, gathered, mingled, talked, laughed, sang and finally walked – a few ran – to break a record.
The previous record for what’s officially known as the largest Wellington boot race was held by the British county of Lincolnshire, which is about a two-hour drive from London. It’s known for its attractive coastlines, Lincoln Castle, its local recipe for stuffed chine – a brined pork dish – and, until recently, its world record.
That county broke the record in 2009, when 1,366 people marched a mile in their Wellies. Ketchikan’s race more than met that challenge. The number announced after the race, while not confirmed yet by Guinness, was 1,976.