Lancaster duo complete gruelling nine-hour, 62 game charity squash marathon

Ben Jolly (left) and Charlie Collett (right) competed in the challenge (Credit: Lancaster University Squash Club)

Imagine a game of squash that lasts nine hours and 62 games?

That’s what Ben Jolly and Charlie Collett, two Lancaster University students, completed on Sunday morning, raising over £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in the process.

They still have a fair way to go to beat the Guinness World Record for the longest ever squash match, though.

Len Granger and Jamie Barnett played over a mammoth 38 hours and 27 seconds in September 2015.

Jolly and Collett also missed out on the longest squash rally record, a total number of 3,408 set by Mark James and Peter Buchan in 2017.

Lancaster University squash club president Jolly, alongside first team captain Collett, took part in the gruelling nine hour match, spanning 62 games in what was billed as a ‘best of 99’ showdown.

The match was streamed on Twitter and Facebook Live, Collett emerging the winner by 50 games to 12.

Collett told UCLan Live during a break from the action: “We are doing it for the Alzheimer’s Society, which is a great cause as it affects a lot of people at the moment.

“It’s something very close to Ben’s heart in particular.”

At the five hour point, he added: “It feels the same now as hour three to be honest.

“My legs are really hurting but no more than two hours ago, so now it’s a matter of just getting through it.

“It’s really annoying because when Ben serves he takes around 10 seconds, and you just want to get it over and done with!”

Jolly’s grandfather was diagnosed with the disease 18 months ago, and the squash club chairman gave a personal insight into how the Society has worked closely with his family.

He said: “The work the charity does is awesome and they really help families as well as patients themselves.

“They really try to make the process as positive as possible and they always give positive energy to people.

“It’s a sad thing because it’s not a short-term process, it happens over a period of time.

“It’s little things that progressively happen that you see the change – they deal with it really well and give support to the families as well as the people with Alzheimer’s.”

The event was initially scheduled to take place at the beginning of October, but was delayed due to Jolly picking up a minor injury which ruled him out of competing.

The two competitors spent the summer preparing for the event in a variety of different ways.

Collett explained: “There was a lot of cycling because squash is really bad on your knee joints, so running is not productive.

“We did a lot of cycling around Battersea Park in London.

“There wasn’t much lifting or weight work but lots of long distance, in terms of building yourself up over weeks and weeks.”

He then added: “We have raised £1,000 so far – that was our target and anything more than that would be amazing really.”

To donate to the cause, visit the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/best-of-99-game-squash-marathon