Two feats, one goal: A world record

Big and small. Dirty or somewhat clean. Pink, orange, grey or white. These smelly items combined to make one great feat in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

WASHINGTON – National Geographic Kids has achieved another feat for the records books: collecting 16,407 shoes to be recycled.

An official from the Guinness World Records confirmed Tuesday the pile of donated, used sneakers outside National Geographic headquarters on 17th Street NW is the largest collection of shoes to be recycled.

The shoes paved the front courtyard creating a smelly, colorful carpet that took a few interns a lot of willpower and plenty of plastic gloves to create.

“Recycling and exercise can be fun for you,” says magazine editor Rachel Buchholz.

Their mission accomplished, the shoes will be ground up and turned into a material that will be used to build athletic surfaces like basketball courts, playgrounds and running tracks.

Old sneakers poured in from National Geographic readers, scout troops and schools. Taylor Swift, Danica Patrick and Eli Manning all donated shoes, according to the magazine.

Guinness official Mike Janela called it a new world record “feat.”

The magazine also brought together the most people to run the 100-meter dash in 24 hours at multiple venues, Janela says.

More than 30,000 people ran the 100 meters on October 26, 2012, the magazine says.

Janela says the magazine now holds seven Guinness records. The other five are:

  • most people to do jumping jacks in 24 hours, multiple locations
  • the longest line of foot prints
  • the longest chain of shoes
  • the largest gathering of plush toys/stuffed animals
  • the largest collection of clothes to be recycled

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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