By Joseph Chukwu
Sept. 18, 2023, 6:55 p.m.
John Obot from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, has broken the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest marathon read-aloud event.
Obot beat the 124-hour mark set by Rysbai Isakov, an Indian who previously held the title, by clocking 145 hours.
Obot started reading on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Cityview Hall (LETTERS HOUSE), Watbridge Hotels & Suites in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, by 1 pm after some technical hitches with equipment and power failures that invalidated his initial attempt of over 45 hours.
After reaching the 145-hour mark on Monday, September 18, 2023, an excited Obot declared that he would continue reading until 10 pm Monday and thanked everyone present for the support.
Present at the ‘Readmania’ event to cheer up the marathoner were the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Akon Eyakenyi, and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Enobong Uwah.
Others were Commissioner of Education Idongesit Etiebiet and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Umo Eno on Media, Anietie Usen, among other notable politicians and indigenes.
The venue of the event was packed full of supporters and admirers of the marathoner, who started a countdown for the reader when he reached 144 hours, 59 minutes, and 34 seconds.
The reading marathon was supported by Uyo Book Club, founded by Dr Udeme Nana, the Chief Programme Director of the Readmania Team.
John Obot, a school teacher, is the son of the late journalist John Obot, who died in active service as the Akwa Ibom State correspondent of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).