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The City Journals

Guinness World Record broken in Murray

Jul 16, 2021 10:02AM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Jon Paleka and Dallas Anderson (third and fourth from left) broke a Guinness World Record. (Photo courtesy Dallas Anderson)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

People will come to Murray and marvel at the place where the official world record fell. They will stroll the grounds of the Salt Lake County rugby fields, wondering what it was like on that cold December day when Dallas Anderson and Jon Paleka achieved the feat and landed in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

Of course, it was not easy to break this particular record; not as easy as making a million consecutive free throw shots or writing the most downloaded song on earth. Nope, Anderson and Paleka are in the books for having the “Farthest Marshmallow Propelled and Caught in the Mouth.”

“I’ve wanted to create YouTube videos since high school, so I started making videos of me skateboarding and doing some things for fun with friends last summer, so I created the YouTube channel ‘Thrive On Vibes.’ One of our videos, ‘Fun with Marshmallows,’ was just us messing around and doing some trick shots, and that’s when Jon and I talked about setting a world record so that we’d have some cool content for the channel,” Anderson said.

All sweet, sugary fluff aside, planning to break a record takes months of planning and preparation. Anderson, a Murray High alumnus, newly graduated from BYU with a degree in sports and entertainment marketing, found that he had plenty of time on his hands during the pandemic to coordinate such an event.

Not all marshmallows are created equal. To prepare for their attempt, they bought several bags of different-sized marshmallows and launched the projectiles with a water-balloon slingshot to see which would fly the farthest. 

“To break a Guinness World Record, you actually have to apply in advance,” Anderson said. “So, Jon and I applied for this record around July 2020 and had our official attempt approved in early November. We had to provide conclusive video and photo evidence and provide two official witnesses as part of the submission to Guinness, so we had family members and friends help us out. After submitting all of the evidence, witness forms, and cover letter, we waited about 16 weeks for Guinness to review our application.”

The record they had to beat was 128 feet 5 inches, roughly the same height as Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. Sound plausible? “Not so fast,” says Mother Nature; on the scheduled date, the weather turned the rugby field into a Marshmallow World.

“December 14, the day we attempted the world record, happened to be one of the only days it snowed in the valley last winter, so we had to do everything in the snow. Second, breaking the world record took only two tries! I’d practiced launching the marshmallow with my brother, Landon, and a friend the weekend before to get an estimated distance, but on our first attempt, the marshmallow we launched landed nearly 60-70 feet behind Jon. He backed up a way, and the second marshmallow we launched landed straight in his mouth—he did not have to move more than a foot. We’d talked about switching off between who was launching and catching after five or six tries but never needed to make that switch,” Anderson said.

They didn’t just break the record. At 225 feet 10 inches, they smashed it like a soft gelatinous mass. Guinness highlighted part of their video on their Instagram account and sent them a certificate verifying that they are official Guinness World Record holders. Paleka received minor wounds to his inner lip.

Where does a world record holder go from here? Well, Paleka will be finishing up his bachelor’s at BYU. Anderson is headed to the University of Oregon to pursue an MBA. But wait, this Murray lad may not be done with Guinness yet. 

“I’ve applied for several additional world records to break with family and friends, so stay tuned for more of that moving forward,” Anderson said.