Penn Treaty Park

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Updated 6:10 p.m. The number of fist bumps needed to beat the world record is now more than 556.

Tomorrow, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will partner with the Circuit Trails Coalition to celebrate the start of “trail season” at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown by attempting the Guinness World Record for longest relay of fist bumps, ever.

Yep, fist bumps.

In the last year, Rails-to-Trails has been working toward its goal to connect many multi-use trails often used for walking and biking in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so that users can continue on the same trail for 500 miles. The organization isn’t there yet — it’s a goal for 2025 — but in the spirit of warmer weather, they felt like celebrating the progress.

Brandi Horton, Rails-to-Trails’ vice president of communications, told Billy Penn that when considering what world record to attempt to break, RTC inquired about the record for high-fives and waves, too.

“We identified the fist bump as the most doable,” she said.

When the project got started a few months ago, the record for longest relay of fist bumps was held at 301. Record keepers told Rails-to-Trails that as of a few weeks ago, the record has since been tried and beaten, putting the number needed around 530 556.

With the help of the official record keepers, Rails-to-Trails has planned for participants to line up an arm’s length away from each other on the trail at Penn Treaty Park. They’ll be assigned numbered wristbands to keep track of how many people have showed up and to organize them into a line.

Just after 2 p.m., the first participant will start the chain of fist bumping. Despite calling the record a “fist bump relay,” there’s no running involved. If enough people show up to beat the record, Horton said, record keepers estimate it it will only take a half an hour.

“It’s literally going to be fist bump, fist bump, fist bump, fist bump, all down the line,” she said.

Trails-to-Rails is partnering with 6 ABC to accomplish its goal and raffling off two bikes — one for kids, one for adults.

While the event is focused on breaking Philadelphians out of the winter funk and getting them to be outdoors again, the fist bump relay will be front and center. A few hundred people have signed up so far, but the more people who come out for the spectacle, the better, Horton said.
“Yes, I’ve been practicing,” she added. “You don’t want to flub the fist bump.”