XPEL Inc. Canada Employee Breaks Guinness World Record by Swimming Over 60 Miles to Raise Money for Montreal Children’s Hospital
The United States and Canada celebrate their independence during the first week of July. Cookouts, family outings, patriotic summer wear, and a three-day weekend are common traditions in celebrating Canada Day and the Fourth of July. However, while most were standing by a grill, buying fireworks, or enjoying time off work, one XPEL Inc. employee was busy breaking a Guinness World Record.
On July 1st, Canada Day, XPEL Canada's Jason Hillcoat dove into a pool and swam for 48 hours straight. The event took place at the Westminster Pool in Dollard de Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada. In doing so, he broke the world record for the longest swim in a 25-meter pool, covering a total distance of 64.6 miles (104km). His motivation for completing this outstanding feat of endurance was raising money for the Montreal Children's Hospital through The Spencer Julius Landau's "Little Warrior" Endowment Fund. In a show of support, XPEL Inc. was there with Jason during his record-breaking swim and made a $10,000 donation to his worthy cause.
Jason Hillcoat is a Human Resources Generalist for XPEL Canada. Recently, he began competing in Iron Man Challenges, which started in 2021. He wanted to achieve a goal that was bigger than him. More importantly, he wanted his effort to help others. Every Iron Man and endurance challenge Jason has competed in since 2021 has been to raise money for The Spencer Julius Landau "Little Warrior" Endowment Fund to benefit the Montreal Children's Hospital. The fund is named after Spencer, Jason's nephew, who died from Hirschsprung disease in 2019. The concept of swimming for 48 hours represents the number of hours Spencer's parents waited in the hospital before hearing the tragic news of their infant son.
The previous Guinness World Record was 101.9 kilometers (63 miles). It takes more than a daily protein shake to take on a 48-hour swim challenge. Leading up to this event, the last few months for Jason have consisted of 4 am alarms and three-hour swim sessions six times a week. His background in competitive swimming and water polo provided a good base for Jason's training. In addition, he started competing in Iron Man challenges in 2021 to help raise funds for his charity. This latest challenge is one of several he plans on entering in 2022. The first was a 4x4x48 Challenge in March, where he ran four miles every four hours for 48 hours.
Jason Hillcoat World Record-Breaking Swim
One of the many obstacles Jason had to overcome was keeping his core body temperature up. Anytime he stopped or got out of the pool to use the bathroom, he felt freezing as his core body temperature dropped from being in the water. Relief only came while he was actively swimming. The last few hours were a testament to a mind-over-matter philosophy. After two days of pushing off walls in the pool, the bottom of Jason's feet started to bleed from cuts. Ultimately, his effort did not go in vain, as he broke the record at 5:15 am, nearly two hours before the 48-hour deadline.
According to Jason, recovery after the 48-hour swim took another 48 hours. Beyond sore muscles and recalibrating his sleep cycle, Jason underwent two days of hot and cold flashes. In addition to sinus and ear discomfort. Nevertheless, Jason mentioned that he could not allow his body to remain stationary, or it would seize up. He plans on competing in another Iron Man challenge in August 2022. This event is a triathlon consisting of swimming for 2.4-miles, biking for 112 miles, and ending with a 26.2-mile marathon within a 17-hour time limit. Throughout the challenge, Jason's mind locked on why he was doing this, to help children in need. A positive mindset was vital in pushing through the physical and mental exhaustion. Once the record was broken, Jason's body wanted to shut down while his emotions wanted to overload. However, he had to continue till the end, not just for himself but for the crowd of people who came to see him finish. When asked if he had any advice for people interested in competing in Iron Man Challenges, Jason stated that discipline is key. Figure out one's personal reasons for doing it. As Jason puts it, "dreams without goals are unobtainable."
How You Can Donate
Donations are still coming in as news of Jason's world record circles the internet. Those wishing to support Jason's cause by Donating to The Montreal Children's Hospital can do so online here.
XPEL Inc. is proud to have people like Jason Hillcoat on its team. XPEL employs hundreds of people with a life beyond their job title—individuals with goals, ambitions, and inspirational stories. Jason is an example of people doing good for the right reasons.