A Los Angeles Police Department detective will attempt to break a Guiness World Record by riding the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel for 25 hours in support of Special Olympics Southern California, the same organization for which his son competes.
Det. Gus Martinez hopes to take the popular 130-foot-tall Pacific Park Ferris wheel for a spin from 7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 31 until 8:30 a.m. June 1, breaking the current Guinness World Records title of 24 hours and 30 minutes.
Martinez expects to remain in the Ferris wheel gondola throughout the record-setting period and will be periodically joined by Jason, his son and Special Olympics athlete. Additional family members, friends and law enforcement officers will also be riding along and cheering him on each minute of the way.
“Special Olympics athletes are real athletes… no endorsements… no scholarships… just pure joy to train and compete,” says Martinez. “Being in this SOSC world of athletes, parents, volunteers… it’s a bit of change from working with the crime-related activity I typically focus on day in and day out.”
Guests can ride the Ferris wheel in one of the remaining gondolas for $5 during the park’s exclusive after-hours from 8 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds raised during the period will go toward Special Olympics.
“Rarely does an opportunity come along to help such a great organization, while recognizing the hard work of law enforcement and an athlete, all while having fun,” says Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.
“Pacific Park is committed to being the best partner to Special Olympics Southern California. We recognize the excellence, endurance and time the athletes put toward their sport. We are matching that enthusiasm with the Ferris wheel, fundraising and will power.”
Upon setting the new record, Martinez and his son will light the official Southern California law enforcement torch held by a Santa Monica police officer and SOSC athlete. The pair will run up the Santa Monica Pier, down Colorado Boulevard, onto Main Street to the Santa Monica Police Department where the flame will be kept for the weekend.
Martinez has been with the LAPD since 1994 and works as a detective in the special crime task force. Martinez is also a Special Olympics coach and, together with his wife Menah, they have three children: Beverly, 24, Jason, 23, and Ariel, 8.
Money raised from this event will go toward events such as SOSC Summer Games, taking place June 9-10 at California State University-Long Beach.