Into the record books

Bush, 15, jumped rope more than 150,000 times

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2005

What started as an idea while leafing through a Guinness Book of World Records turned into reality 9 a.m. Thursday as 15-year-old Isabel Bush set a new world record for number of jumps over a rope in a 24-hour span.

Bush, who will be a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School this fall, jumped rope more than 150,000 times to break the old record of 141,221 jumps. She actually passed the old mark - set by Jim Payne of Waterford, Ireland in March of 2004 - at about 8 a.m. Thursday.

Bush jumped from Wednesday at 9 a.m. to Thursday at 9 a.m., taking only handful of five-minute and half-hour breaks, along with a brief early morning nap, during the ordeal.

"When I hit it, it wasn't really a big thing," Bush said. "The last 15 minutes though we turned up the music really loud, my sister was dancing and when I finished at 9 a.m. they threw confetti at me."

There are two separate totals for Bush's mark. To conform to Guinness Book of World Records rules, she had two people man mechanical clickers and count each individual step throughout the entire meet. The counters also logged the number of jumps complete each half hour.

The average of both totals is 151,036 jumps. The lowest possible amount of jumps, Bush calculated, was 150,678 jumps. She plans to send both totals to the Guinness Book of World Records officials, along with signatures of witnesses, two letters of verification and a load of videotapes documenting the achievement.

"I'm not too exhausted," Bush said. "I took a two-hour nap this morning so I don't feel too bad. My muscles have stiffened up and my feet are really swollen. When I woke up this morning it was like I could barely get my shoes on."

Since announcing her bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, Bush has turned into a bit of a celebrity and her Juneau home became a local hot-spot.

Bush estimates about 40 people checked out the event at her home. She also conducted interviews with a pair of local radio stations.

"It was great," 18-year-old sister Megan Bush said. "Right around 7 to 10 p.m. last night everyone was off work and there were so many people here. It was a giant party. There was a pizza at one point and I think Isabel was the only one working. Well, her and her clickers."

Isabel's right-hand woman was Hailey Summers, who clicked every single jump throughout the 24-hour span. The second clicker was passed around between volunteers to help out the effort.

While Isabel's friends and family enjoyed the event and made a party out of it, Isabel jumped right through festivities.

"There were about 15 minutes here and there that were fun, but it wasn't particularly fun, it was fun for everybody else," Isabel said with a laugh. "They wanted to stay and hang out. For me, it was a little too long. I think if I do another one, I'll do the most jumps in a minute type of record."

The 15-year-old Juneau resident took a nap from 1:15 a.m. to 4 a.m. before sprinting towards the finish. She said it was tough starting again after letting her body rest for a couple hours, but quickly regained her focus with the end in sight.

No matter how tired or sore she got, Isabel Bush refused to give up on her goal.

Now, if the Guinness Book of World Records judges see fit, her name will be in one of the world's most famous books.

"It was quite an experience," Isabel Bush said. "It's difficult. I found myself counting down every minute just jumping. It made me realize how long 24 hours really is."

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at

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