Guinness Certificates

I received two certificates in the mail today from Guinness World Records. One for my HPV 24 hour distance record and the other for the pedal boat 24 hour distance record.

I used to read the Guinness book of world records when I was a kid and I always fantasized about making into the record books. Very cool.

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I've know about this for a while now, but I've been sitting on it until everything with the Human Powered Vehicle Association (HPVA) and Guinness World Records became 'official'.

I do NOT own the HPVA human powered BOAT 24 hour distance record as previously thought, but I do own a new 24 hour pedal boat distance record ratified by Guinness. Let me explain:

Unknown to me or any of the HPVA officials I was working with during my 174 km HPB record attempt on June 2, 2007, there were full transcripts of a 250 km human powered boat record attempt by Carter Johnson sitting on the desk of the records chair person at the HPVA . Due to a lack of communications between various parties, this pre-existing 24 hour record attempt of 250 km was not known by me or anyone associated with my record attempt.

Carter Johnson a stock HUKI S1-X surfski on Lake Merced in San Francisco during his 24 hour, 147 mile kayaking distance record attempt

After my record attempt I started to look into my average watts of power that I produced during the 174 km record with the data from the SRM power meter. Rick Willoughby and I did some calculations and we figured that with a purpose-built, state of the art human powered boat, I 'would-have' been capable of going at least 250 km with the exact same power output that I exerted during the 24 hour record on June 2.

I had heard rumors of a kayaker by the name of Carter Johnson who paddled his kayak 250 km in 24 hours on a lake in Northern California last year. Now, according to the rules of 'human power', a kayak IS definitely a human powered boat. Human powered vehicles including boats aren't just pedal powered - they consist of anything that is powered by a human being - no use of the wind or stored energy is allowed. And this is really a beautiful thing, as it encourages innovation to maximize the minuscule bit of power than a human is capable of producing. If using paddles in a kayak, rowing a row boat, or simply kicking your feet through the water behind your surf board is a more efficient method of moving a boat forward over time than pedals and a propeller, then so be it! That's exactly what the whole 'human power' ideal is all about.

As far as I knew, Carters record was considered "unofficial" because he didn't go through the rigorous and restricting ratification process required by a governing body as I did. However, I knew that if it was possible for a paddled kayak to travel 250 km in 24 hours, that my paltry 174 km wasn't going to stick for very long. I realized that with a new boat, I would be very close to this 250 km unofficial kayak record and I was motivated to pursue that.

I looked Carter up, and contacted him with the intention of inviting him to Calgary for a 24 hour human powered race between the two of us next summer. We would call it the Pedal vs. Paddle showdown. The winner would claim the true title of 'human powered 24 hour distance champion on water' and potentially even a new 'Official' 24 hour HPVA distance record. We would end, once and for all, the debate over weather pedal is better than paddle. Basically, I thought my race idea would be a whole lot of fun for everyone involved, and a great challenge for both Carter and I.

Greg Kolodziejzyk on his human powered pedal boat WiTHiN on Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary during his 24 hour, 108 mile human powered boat distance record attempt

It would be an understatement to say that I was shocked when Carter told me that he was a member of the human powered vehicle association. And that he had registered his record attempt with the HPVA, AND had followed ALL of the rules of the HPVA with regard to record setting. He had his rectangular course measured by a surveyor, had official members of the HPVA act as observers and even submitted a full report to the HPVA records chair person subsequent to his attempt. "So why do you not own the official HPVA 24 hour human powered boat record?" I asked. He told me that after he had submitted his information package to the HPVA, he hadn't heard back from them. At the same time, Carter had applied to Guinness World Records for the most kayaking distance in 24 hours category, and had received ratification from them, so he just let the whole HPVA application drop.

I was kind of pissed. Not at Carter, but at this whole mis-communication mess with the HPVA. Why was Carter's record not ratified? Why was I not even aware that a record attempt over a YEAR OLD was being considered for ratification? That news alone may have changed my strategy regarding my own attempt at the record. I knew that my boat WiTHiN was not capable of 250 km, so I may not have attempted it.

I immediately sensed an injustice. I told Carter that I would do my best at getting to the bottom of this and see that he receive his just recognition from the HPVA, as in my opinion, if he did follow all of the rules, he deserved to be recognized for his amazing accomplishment. To Carter's credit as a pretty admirable person, he insisted that I not pursue this, and that he was happy with sharing the lime-light, as he did have his Guinness recognition for kayaking distance. That didn't sit well with me. It is about the ideal of the human powered pursuit. What justice would be served if my distance record of 174 km was seen by the world as the most distance that a human being can cover in 24 hours on water when indeed it is something more like 250 km !!!!!!! A huge difference, and a difference that NEEDED to be rectified.

So, I contacted Al Krause, the current president of the HPVA who was not aware of Carters record attempt. Al eventually traced the problem down, and Carter ended up with his due recognition as the HPVA record holder for 24 hour HPB distance. I'm not blaming the HPVA for any of this, as I think it was just simply a case of mis-communication between many individuals (including myself). Since everyone at the HPVA is a volunteer, I am very grateful that they are all so freely giving of their time. Without the awesome work of people like Al Krause, Rob Hitchcock and many others, there would be no organized process at all for athletes to participate within. No stars to shoot for, no rules to follow, and no recognition our accompishments.

So I kind of screwed myself out of a record. But that's fine because I figured out how to salvage it - by contacting Guinness World Records and asking about the 24 hour PEDAL boat record. They said it was currently at 175 km and held by an Italian 4 man team. I told Guinness that my 174 km record (only 1 km less than that from a team of 4!) was a solo attempt, and as such, should be considered as a new category. They agreed and after reviewing all of my data and observers reports, awarded me with the record.

So where does this leave us? Well, I really want to challenge Carters kayaking record, and I would be a very lucky guy to have the opportunity to race a guy of Carters calibre for the honor of being the true human powered boat world record holder. Carter said he would think about it.

What are YOUR thoughts? To respond so that everyone can have the opportunity to read your input and respond to it, please submit your comments to the 'comments' link on this post.

Best regards,
Greg Kolodziejzyk


24 hour HPB record video

Here is the 4 minute 24 hour human powered pedal boat record YouTube video:


24 hour record report

Hey everyone:

I am recovering. Like I say to the media when they ask how I feel: "right now, I feel like I was run over by a truck".

Here is a re-cap of my 24 hour adventure on Saturday/Sunday.

Before I start, I really want to extend my gratitude to friends and family who came out to help and support me. There would not have been any attempt if not for your help! In fact, I would NOT have finished the 24 hours if it wasn't for you. I would have quit. The only thing that kept me going at 4:00 am was that I couldn't allow myself to quit because I couldn't let you down. You had invested so much into this that I felt indebted to you and I felt that this was the least I could do to pay you back for your investment. You were counting on me to do my best, and that is what I was determined to do even though every single muscle cell of my body (and my stomach) was screaming at me to stop. I didn't stop, and in a very small way, I am a better man now because of that. Again, I have you guys to thank for that.

My crew: My wife Helen, sisters Theresa and Carol, my dad Rudi, Ben Eadie, Stefan Dalberg, John Mackay, Gary Erickson

Official HPVA Observers: Rob Hitchcock, Joey, Melanie, Chris, Greg

Glenmore reservoir patrol boat: Trevor Lamb and his staff

Photographers: Ben Eadie, Jennifer Armand, Karl Staddon

Signs: my bro - Alan

Psychological support: my mom Liz, Karl Gall, Linda Gall, Cyrille Armand, Jennifer Armand, Tom Short, Gord Weber, Val Erickson, Cody and Krista, Nick, Andy, Keisha, Stephan, Ryan, Bridget, Dustin, etc, etc

Also thanks to all of the others who stopped by during the day to check out my progress and cheer me on! Your support means more to me than you realize.

Friday, June 1, 2007 - "the last supper"

At 9:00 am I met Stefan, the surveyor Adrian Slater from Precision Geomatics Inc., Rob Hitchcock and the patrol boat out at the reservoir to pick out and measure my course. The surveyor Adrian was kind enough to donate his time. We decided on a rectangular course that routed around the rowing lanes. My starting waypoint would be an invisible mark 5 feet out from the dock. If I touched the dock when I went around, it was determined that I would have to be inside that invisible waypoint. The other 4 markers were existing and the surveyor took readings from his GPS at the center points of each 2 foot square box. The lake was calm and there was no wind. Here are the GPS coordinates starting at the dock.

N 50 Deg 59' 07.62732"
W 114 Deg 07' 00.57808"

Mk 1-
N 50 Deg 59' 12.41543"
W 114 Deg 06' 50.11895"

Mk 2-
N 50 Deg 59' 41.02233"
W 114 Deg 06' 05.17377"

Mk 3-
N 50 Deg 59' 38.87088"
W 114 Deg 06' 01.92596"

Mk 4-
N 50 Deg 59' 04.49201"
W 114 Deg 06' 55.76932"

Below is the GPS data plotted on Google Maps from AFTER the 24 hour record that shows my track during the 24 hours.

I invited the crew and their families out for dinner to Chiantes Italian restaurant to thank them in advance for their support and help. A great meal was had by all and I got to bed early - about 10:30 pm.

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - "race day"

I woke up at 7:00 am after a sound nights sleep. I had the car packed with my gear, and WiTHiN loaded onto the roof rack the night before, so all I had to do was get dressed, eat and head out. I did a couple of live telephone radio interviews before I headed out the door. I picked up my buddy Gary on the way and we drove straight to Glenmore Canoe Club at the Glenmore Reservoir.

I did another radio interview by cell phone when we arrived and Stefan, Gary and Ben helped unload WiTHiN and my 2 boxes of gear. By the time my interview was over, they had the boat set up on it's stand on the dock. I put the seat in, the drive leg, my food bin, GPS, cell phone and iPod. Stefan taped over the drive leg plug seam under the hull with Gorilla tape. I don't think this made any difference at all, but I thought that it would be a good way of stopping the bay plug from accidentally moving during the 24. It also covers over some very small seams between the plug and the hull - but didn't really make any noticeable difference to my speed or efficiency.

Rob Hitchcock arrived and went over procedures and schedules with the observers. Then the patrol boat came over to take the first two observers over to the turn around dock. The turn around dock is a small floating dock tied to the far North West corner of my 3.217981 km course.

9:00 am Saturday

Below is a plot from my GSP showing my average speeds throughout the day. I found this useful when trying to remember what I was feeling during different parts of the day:

I got into WiTHiN at about 5 minutes to 9:00 and Rob gave me a count down using his atomic clock. I started BEHIND the start waypoint at exactly 9:00 am.

I was instantly surprised at my cadence gain! 150 watts at 87 rpm!! It used to be 76 rpm. I had an overwhelming urge on Friday to give my prop another small twist. I knew from experience that you should never run anything untested on race day, but I was also very concerned about my knee problem which I think was due to the slow turn over and that extra stress placed on my knees. I had added some additional twist to my prop previously via instructions from Rick Willoughby (WiTHiN's designer), and the small increase in twist gave me a few additional RPMs, but not quite enough, as my cadence was still well under 80 at 150 watts. I knew that I would be slipping to 100 watts later on in the 24 hours and also knew that a cadence of 50 or less would be murder on my knees. I couldn't resist the urge, so I put the blades in the vice and added more twist. I was lucky because the spin was perfect - almost 90 RPM and still at around 80 for lower wattage's.

The first few hours were great - I was enjoying the perfect day - sunshine and heating up nicely. Calm water, cheery crew, lots of people out on the lake in their kayaks, canoes, rowing sculls and outriggers. They all knew what i was doing from the signs at out home base dock, and all of the TV, radio and newspaper press I had been getting in the days leading up to the big event. Everyone was cheering me on and I felt really great.

2:00 pm Saturday

It started to get pretty hot - I was noting 32 degrees C (89 degrees F) on the SRM meter. My average speed was between 8.5 and 9 kph, my average watts was around 145 or so and my knees were OK, but my feet were getting a bit numb. I was still having a good time and generally enjoying the whole experience

6:00 pm Saturday

At 9 hours into the day I started to feel some aches creep into my knees. My feet were no long numb for some reason. Strange. I can remember trying to exaggerate the circling action of my legs rather than pushing. More pulling back as well as pushing, but with an attempt to actually lift my feet up off the shoe bed on each pull stroke. This seemed to work. It never really did anything in training, but today it was working for some reason. My average was still near 9 kph and my power output was still pretty good.

9:00 pm Saturday

The sun was setting now and I knew it would be a long and difficult night. I was kind of looking forward to riding at night on the lake though - something I have never experienced before. My pace had dropped to between 7.6 to 8 kph and my overall average had dropped to 8.5 kph. I was still way over record pace, but my goal was to pad that as much as possible because I knew what the night was going to bring. My knees were starting to hurt a lot. This was a difficult time psychologically because I was 1/2 way though and it was kind of awful to think about another 12 hours still left to go!!

After dark Saturday

The night was weird. I wasn't very happy because I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable from the pain in my knees, Achilles tendons and hamstrings. In reflecting on all of this now, I realize that it is probably due to the vastly reduced training period leading up to the event. I only had about 4 weeks to go from a fairly good trained state n my triathlon road bike to ultra endurance state in the recumbent position. It was the only time that fit into the summer and the schedule at the reservoir, so I thought I could do it. I was paying the price. I never felt pains like this during my two prior 24 hour record attempts with Critical Power streamliner on the track. In both previous efforts I had a few months worth of endurance training in the recumbent position, not a few weeks!

It also started to get very cold. I put on 3 sweaters, a rain jacket, my cycling pants and my winter mitts. I also started to feel very sick to my stomach. Greg who was observing on the far turn around dock during the entire night knows a little of what I was going through, and I don't want to say how he knew.

I was really surprised at how well i could see on the lake at night. The full moon - which was one reason why we scheduled this event for the first weekend in June - didn't actually rise until shortly before sunrise, so it was of no use to me. However, I had no problem seeing everything on the lake. Stefan mounted glow sticks on my course buoys so I could see them from across the lake.

I was being dive-bombed by bats! the strangest thing. At first they were kind of freaking me out. I realized that they were gliding a few inches above the surface of the water eating the mosquitos. The would stop just before hitting the boat and me, and flutter up and away. Very freaky though.

Thanks for all the phone calls!!! I got quite a few phone calls during the night and these really went a long way in passing the time. I was using these headphones by SkullCandy that plug into both your cell phone and your iPod. When you get a phone call, it mutes the iPod and connects you to the phone call. The headphone have a small clip on mic for hands free talking. They work really awesome!

Sunrise Sunday

I was starting to feel very sleepy shortly before sunrise. I think this might be due to my power output dropping so much that I just wasn't exerting as much effort to keep my heart rate up, keep me warm and alert. I would close my eyes for a minute and feel like I was starting to nod off. Then I would shake my head and slap my face to wake up. This was a pretty rough time. Falling asleep, can't get the power up because everything hurts so bad. My stomach was ready to heave up 20 hours worth of Gatorade, boost, coke, and bars.

The sun started to rise and I started to loose that sleepy feeling. My stomach was still bad, but I was concerned that I was going to run out of energy before the finish, so I wanted to eat something, but the thought of food made my stomach feel worse. Helen offered my a cup of hot, salty noodle soup and I was instantly craving it, so I knew that I must have been a bit salt depleted. That soup was magically good and it got me going again. After the soup, I started to slowly take in more carbs at a rate that my queasy stomach could take.

My average speed had dropped to just below 8 kph now. I knew that if i could make it to 24 hours that I would break the record and that was really the only thought that kept me on the lake. It would have been so easy to just say forget it and give up, but I knew that I could easily make the record if I could just withstand a few more hours of misery.

After I started taking in some more calories, my energy picked up a bit and I was able to hold an average of around 8 kph.

9:00 am Sunday

People started to filter back into life as the sun got higher in the sky on Sunday morning. Rowers and kayakers on the lake, and my friend Bryon Howard was out in his kayak to help me make it to the finish line - thank goodness!

Rob and my dad had been counting down my laps to the record from 15 laps to go until the last lap. That helped quite a bit because it kept me focused on notching down that count 30 minutes at a time. I was pretty relieved when I was on my last lap and got cheers from everyone as I crossed the start line and had broken the 168 km record. I decided that I needed to pad it a bit by doing one more lap and I had an hour, 15 minutes to do it, so I docked WiTHiN and hobbled up the steps for a luxurious use of the facilities in the Canoe Club.

I finished my final lap and the champagne was popped and we celebrated. Some press was there and I did a few interviews, signed some autographs for the kids and Pat Lor drove me home. My buddies Gary and Stefan packed up WiTHiN and my gear in my car and drove it home for where I was sound asleep in bed.

I think I had the best sleep of my life that night.

Again - thanks to everyone. This is as much your accomplishment as it is mine.


Next - to get WiTHiN ready for the open ocean! We have a family kayaking trip planed for the Broken Islands on Vancouver Island at the end of August. It is my plan to have the full-deck version of WiTHiN ready for that multi-day camping trip. The first step is to simulate the weight of the full deck and figure out the weight and location of ballast required to offset the weight of the full deck. Then I need to simulate a hole for an entry hatch and see if it can be used for a deep water entry. Then it is back in the shop.

Stay tuned!


24 hour HPB record!

New World Record!!! Greg Kolodziejzyk pedals 173.76 km in 24 hours in his human powered boat setting a new HPVA record.

Here are the live updates from the 24 hour human powered boat record attempt at Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary, Alberta on June 2, 2007.

10:45 am
Hello from the lake!

Hey everybody, Greg here.

It's about 10:45 am, an hour, 45 minutes after the start of what I know will be one VERY long day!

I woke up this morning at 7:00 am after a sound 7 hour sleep. My buddy Gary and I headed over to the reservoir and he, Stefan and Ben unloaded WiTHiN, and 3 boxes of gear. We had the boat set up, in the water and ready to go by 8:30.

At 5 seconds to 9:00 am, according to the atomic clock, Rob gave me the 5 second count-down. At exactly 9:00 am, I was off.

It has been a great day so far. The temperature is 23.5 degrees at 1 hour, 45 minutes into attempt. My average power is 145 Watts and my average speed 9kph, (from the GPS).

My feet are getting a bit numb. I guess I will have to suck it up, but so far my knee is OK. Talk to you again in a hour or two.

Peace out

Now Ben here, Greg could use some questions and such to keep him company, Post comments here and we will get them to him. Or better yet call him at 403.651.2748 talk to him and keep him company, especially the European friends when it is night here.


3 Responses to “Hello from the lake”

  1. # Anonymous

    Hi Greg,

    How is the new prop working?

    My HPB Kayak leans to the inside when turning, then to the outside (scary!), when coming out of the corner. Does Within have any of the same issues?

    Good luck with the attempt!

    Ben - I had a hard time finding the icon to post a comment... Also I had to verify the goofy text string 2 or 3 times before it would let me post.


  2. # Anonymous

    Looks like a great day on the lake! What do you see for wild life? Are you going around the shore line, or back and forth across? Doing the Zen thing, focussed on your breathing, or are you using some other techniques to pass the time?

    Wishing you the best, keep it crankin'!
    Eric K, the Bender Bikes guy

  3. # Anonymous

    I have been watching the building of your boat with real interest. We are wishing you the best on this record attempt. We will watch your progress online throughout the next 24 hours.
    Bruce in St. Louis, Missouri USA


1:00 pm
Video from the boat

3:00 pm
58 km complete and another video from onboard WiTHiN

Hello all,

Greg has just hit the 58K point and that is about 1/3 of the way to the record and 6 hours in. so he should be hitting the record at the 18 hour mark and then has 6 hours to stack on as much distance as possible over the record.

He has done another self interview, here you go, enjoy!


2 Responses to “58K into the record attempt”

  1. # Anonymous

    I saw an outrigger canoe pacing Greg in a photo. Did he pace for very long?

    I would like a video from the shore if you get a chance to post that.

    Rick W.

  2. # Anonymous

    32 degrees C is way too hot for me these days. I spent way too many days on the road on a bike with those sorts of temperatures, ending up with heat exhaustion on more than one occasion.

    On the other hand, having a nice cool body of water close by would probably have made it much more enjoyable.

    Good luck!

    Michael L.

5:00 pm
Our first casualty!

Stefan should be OK, don't worry people. I am sure he will pull through.


7:00 pm
Greg is one of the coolest people I know!

First, I have been out filming and that is why it has taken so long for this post.... Check this out, Greg told me to get a song off of iTunes and then made a video clip for me from the boat. The instructions I got was that I would know what to do. Seriously this has to be the coolest clip I have had the privilege to do....

What does Greg listen to when he is on the boat?
'Perfect' by 'The The'


9:00 pm
Video of Greg's route shot fom onboard WiTHiN

10:00 pm
A video from onboard WiTHiN as the sun sets

3 Responses to “Evening Shots”

  1. # Anonymous

    Ben, Please convey our best wishes to Greg, I just watched his 58 K report and he still sound quite chirpy! I cannot wait to see the final distance. Looking at the evening shots, what time does the sun set their at the lake? Best of luck for all the crew and please give him an extra cheer from Danie Pretorius and family from Vaalpark, Sasolburg in South Africa

  2. # La Voie Bleu

    I've got no idea what the time is over there for you guys but it's great to see Greg's still going strong in the latest report.

    Not certain about his musical taste though.

    Right back to designing my boat.

  3. # Anonymous

    Hi Danie
    I had a chat with Greg an hour or so ago and he was suffering with knee problems. His speed had dropped off but he was doing well. He had 8 hours to go and had done 128km.

    Been a while since I have seen any correspondence from you.

    Rick Willoughby, Melbourne.

4:45 am
Sun is finally rising!

Well here we are 4:45 and only 5 more laps to the record. Greg is now running 30 minute laps but he is a bit run down right now, I am positive that once the sun is over the horizon he will pick up the pace and get a better lap time. So at the current pace he should be breaking the record around 7:15-7:30 by my bset guess. Then he will have about 1.5 hours to add distance to the record. Ben

6:45 am
2 laps to go to a new record!

Well, Greg is feeling crappy to say it mildly, he has a sour stomach and we are worried that it may be heat stroke and or sea sickness. But 2 laps and he will have the record. It is now 6:47


9:00 am

Unofficially until it is ratified by the HPVA:
173.76 Km!


Responses to “NEW WORLD RECORD!!!!!”

  1. # Anonymous

    Let me be the first (online) to offer my congratulations!

    Michael Lampi

  2. # Anonymous

    Let me be the second. But let me also say that by pure dumb luck I was on the phone with Greg when he surpassed the old record.

    Let me be the first to ask "Is that boat going into production?" Gotta get me one of those.

    Nick Hein
    Morgantown, WV

  3. # Anonymous

    If you think that this boat is special in being able to go that speed over that distance, then let me be the first to say that it isn't.

    The cruising speed of a boat is defined by a number of factors. These include its length, beam, bow shape, weight and drag caused by the underwater appendages. Of course, the efficiency of the drive system and that of the propeller determine how much power is needed to move the boat at its cruising speed.

    The cruising speed of Greg's boat is actually fairly typical for one of its length, though I suspect that the drive system with its large underwater leg induces a bit more drag than some other designs.

    If you are looking for production boats of similar capabilities, i.e., cruising speed, power required for such speeds, length, etc., then take a look at Open Water Cycling's Cadence.

    Yes, I am involved with making, selling and racing those boats. That is how I know what they can do. I also have pedaled many other pedal boats and know their characteristics, too.

    No, the special thing here was Greg's ability to pedal for 24 hours, putting up with high temperatures and pushing through the pain of sore knees and muscles.

    Again, congratulations!!

    Michael Lampi

  4. # Anonymous

    Well done. The first milestone in just under a year. Would have been nice to crack the unofficial record as well but Within is not the boat for that.

    When you look at the boat used by the previous record holder you have done remarkably well. There are a lot of compromises in this test boat compared with an outright racer.

    Now for the next phase. A deck, a hatch, maybe some ballast and then the ocean. Much more fun than looping a lake.

    Rick W.

  5. # Anonymous

    On land, on the sea, and in the air next? Congratulations! I would have loved to have been able to be there, but the next best thing is your web updates. Thanks for keeping us informed all through the process as well. You are an inspiration.

    Scott Wilson

  6. # Amber Dawn

    Congratulations Greg!
    Your will, strength, tenacity and passion that borders on insanity is an inspiration. Thanks for giving me something to compare all my long rides to- so I never feel "tired" again!
    Very cool what you have chosen for your life. Thanks for creating this site so I can "watch".
    Take care, rest up and recover.
    Amber Dawn


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