Calgary duo go for world record for surgical needle piercings

Some people run until they throw up, but Matthew Menczyk prefers to get his endorphins another way.

Matthew Menczyk had 4,745 needles inserted into his skin

A professional body piercer and his subject are attempting to break the Guinness world record, for the second time, for the most surgical needle piercings in one session. The two are fund raising for the Calgary Charity Inn From the Cold. 1:04

Some people run until they throw up, but Matthew Menczyk prefers to get his endorphins another way. 

On Tuesday, he beat his own world record, set last year, for the number of surgical needles inserted into his skin. He got some help from his body-modification friend Russ Foxx, who was hoping to pierce Menczyk over 8,000 times, but ended at 4,745.

Russ Foxx inserts surgical needles into his friend Matthew Menczyk in an attempt to beat the world record the duo set previously. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

"Matthew is going through a lot of pain to have these done, and I'm suffering in my own way doing the piercings," said Foxx, during a break in the effort earlier in the day on Tuesday. "It's very much a test of endurance for us both."

The point of the exercise isn't just to set the record, but to raise awareness of homelessness and local agency Inn From the Cold. 

"We figure if we're going to do something this extreme and push ourselves this hard, it should benefit someone else," said Foxx.

Matthew Menczyk and Russ Foxx are raising awareness of homelessness in support of Inn From the Cold in their attempt to insert over 8,000 surgical needles into Menczyk's skin. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

One of the major risks to Menzcyk was going into shock from so many little stabs of pain. 

"Last year when we made it to 4,550 he was coming close to shock, so that's why we stopped," said Foxx. "This year he's had a lot of time to prepare himself mentally and physically so we should be able to pass that."

Guinness World Records recognized that feat from Menczyk and Fox last year in Maple Ridge, B.C., which took just over eight hours.

Menzcyk was feeling the effects of his latest test on Tuesday afternoon when he spoke with CBC News, with 2,247 needles already implanted in his skin.

Russ Foxx grabs yet another needle, as Matthew Menczyk sits calmly at his side on Dec. 22. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

"It is starting to get more painful," he said. "It is like lightning bolts right now. Depends where he's doing it. If it was someone else doing it, it would probably hurt a lot more."

He endured for another 2,498 needles before calling it a day. It took nine-and-a-half hours to achieve a new benchmark.

The feat will have to be verified by Guinness as a new world record.

A close-up view of the surgical needles inserted into Matthew Menczyk's skin. (Monty Kruger/CBC)


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