Thirty years later, pain of bowling marathon still fresh in mind of York's Ed Sneeringer

  • Thirty years ago, a York team broke the record for most pins knocked down in a 24-hour period.
  • The six-man team knocked down 82,053 pins over the Labor Day weekend in 1988.
  • The Guinness Book of World Record mark lasted only about a week.

The aches and pains of bowling on a team for 24 continuous hours are still fresh in Ed Sneeringer's mind, 30 years after the marathon.

Ed Sneeringer

Sneeringer, 68, was one of six bowlers who set the Guinness Book of World Records mark for most pins knocked down in a 24-hour period over the Labor Day weekend in 1988.

Other team members included Buck Martin, Matt Smyser, Pat Hunter, Jeff Rishel and Corky Spencer.

The squad tallied 82,053 pins from 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1, through 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2, at Colony Park Lanes North. The team eclipsed the previous record at 5:27 p.m., slightly more than 30 minutes before the deadline.

"Unfortunately, our record only held up for about a week," said Sneeringer, while competing in the Friday morning senior league at Suburban Bowlerama. "I believe a team from Japan broke our record."

Harder than anticipated: Even though one bowler got to sit out every fifth game, Sneeringer, a York right-hander, said bowling for 24 hours was much harder than he anticipated.

"There was plenty of coffee and NoDoz consumed," he said. "It was difficult mentally and physically. After a while, we were all hurting. It would have been easy to give up, but we kept after it."

Sneeringer said his elbow throbbed, his cuticles were split, his fingers and wrist ached and his thumb was swollen and bloody. He rolled 87 games, equivalent to almost a full bowling league season, in a 24-hour period.

"I would say the final 18 hours were pure drudgery," he said. "We were all definitely looking forward to the end."

Sneeringer recalled that Martin couldn't bowl for the final two hours because his thumb was rubbed practically raw, and it was swollen so much that it would no longer fit in the ball.

Tough recovery: After the 24-hour marathon, he went home and collapsed in his bed. Two hours later, he woke up with his body in an excruciating knot from muscle cramps in every conceivable spot.

"I had to have someone help me out of bed," he said. "I was sore for days. I lived on over-the-counter pain medication and I couldn't bowl in any of my leagues that week."

Sneeringer is reminded of the feat every day by a plaque, which was presented to each team member by Terry Brenneman, proprietor of Colony Park Lanes North. The plaque is displayed in Sneeringer's home office.

"The thought of competing in a 24-hour marathon has never entered my mind since," he said.

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