CancerCare Manitoba hopes to glide past skate chain world record

CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is hoping 400 hardy Winnipeggers will join them to break an icy world record and raise some money to boot.

Charity foundation wants to see 400 Winnipeggers lace up to raise funds

The world record attempt will be at The Forks on Feb. 4. (CancerCare Manitoba)

CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is hoping 400 hardy Winnipeggers will join them to break an icy world record and raise some money to boot.

The fundraising arm of CancerCare Manitoba is trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest skating chain, currently held by a group of 370 skaters who set it in Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan, in 2015.

Organizer Karly Tardiff said she wanted to do some volunteering and got in touch with a family friend involved with the foundation. After being inspired by a blogger who was trying to break a world record, she wondered if she could do both — volunteer for a charitable cause and break a world record, too.

"I thought, 'What kind of [world] record could we break? Oh, the longest chain of ice skaters; we have the longest skating trail.'"

There are some rules around what the skaters need to accomplish to break the record.

They must create one continuous line, each skater holding onto the waist of the person in front of them. After a signal, that continuous line must travel at least 400 metres without breaking. At one point, the entire line from the first skater to the last skater must be skating. If the line breaks at any point, the attempt is void.

People must all be wearing commercially available ice skates — no boots, curling shoes or anything else — and for this attempt, participants must be 12 or older.

There have been previous attempts by Winnipeggers to break the record, including more than 1,400 skaters who gathered at The Forks in 2008, but that attempt ultimately wasn't certified by Guinness.

It failed because there were young kids in the chain who just couldn't hold on to the person in front of them, said Tardiff, hence the age requirement.

While there is no registration fee, people who want to participate in the event at The Forks on Feb. 4, dubbed Chain for Change, will be asked to raise $100 for the charity.

While they're hoping more than 400 people register, the fundraiser will likely be limited to 500 people, said Tardiff, just to make things easier logistically. 

The day starts at 1 p.m. and participants are reminded to dress for the weather, as they may be outside for two or three hours.

For more information and to register, visit