x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Australian mother aims for 24-hour knuckle push-ups world record

Former military fitness trainer aims to smash the current Guinness World Record of 7,000 in a 24-hour period.

Australian mother-of-three Eva Clarke at the beginning of her knuckle push-up world record attempt on Friday. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Australian mother-of-three Eva Clarke at the beginning of her knuckle push-up world record attempt on Friday. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

DUBAI // Spare a thought at noon on Saturday for Eva Clarke. For most of Friday, she has been attempting to smash the world record for the most number of knuckle push-ups in a 24-hour period.

The mother of three, a former military fitness trainer from Australia, is hoping to beat the current world record of 7,000 push-ups.

She began her somewhat niche record attempt at 12pm on Friday at Al Wadha Mall, in Abu Dhabi, and will end it at 12pm on Saturday.

Ms Clarke, who is a personal trainer in the capital, already holds the record for the most consecutive knuckle push-ups without stopping (251) and the most knuckle push-ups in 15 minutes (385).

“I’m an endurance athlete,” she said. “I base my training programme around doing long stuff. That’s how I roll.”

The record attempt also included a challenge for the most number of knuckle push-ups in one hour.

Samer Khallouf, a Guinness World Records adjudicator, said Ms Clarke had made 1,206 push-ups in the first hour – a record, he said.

Mr Khallouf would be at the mall for the entire 24-hour period, which was probably some sort of record in itself, he said.

“Yes, it will be difficult for us, but it will be harder for her, because she’s the one doing the push-ups,” he said.

Ms Clarke said she was aiming to make an average of 12 push-ups a minute, or 720 an hour. She would, however, also make time for herself to eat, drink and use the toilet. A sports masseuse would also be on hand should she feel herself undergoing muscle cramping.

“It means I can sometimes take a break of about 10 or 20 minutes at a time,” she said. “ I can eat, drink, get a massage or go to the toilet whenever I need to, but the clock will not stop.”

She said she needed to replace her glycogen stores every 45 minutes, as well as use an exercise bike to ensure a healthy circulation of blood throughout her whole body.

“As long as I’m smart about it and stick to my plan I should be good,” she said.

Ms Clarke said she was doing the challenge to raise awareness for the Maria Cristina Foundation, a local charity that provides for children in Bangladesh.

She is no stranger to endurance events. Last year she ran a 140-kilometre ultra-marathon that took 17 hours.

She has also been preparing for this weekend’s event by averaging about 4,800 push-ups every day.

“I’ve really prepared myself physically and mentally for this,” she said.

There is a wide selection of push-up records in the Guinness archives, including most in a year (1.5 million) and most number of push-ups with hands on raw eggs (112).

“There’re a lot of crazies out there,” Ms Clarke said.

mcroucher@thenational.ae