Two College Friends Try to Beat Record for the World's Longest Hug

Amanda Nerem, 19, and Alec Norem, 20, stood embracing for 31 hours straight.

ByABC News
September 21, 2015, 2:43 PM
Amanda Nerem, 19, and Alec Norem, 20, have attempted the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest hug on Sept. 18, 2015.
Amanda Nerem, 19, and Alec Norem, 20, have attempted the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest hug on Sept. 18, 2015.
Amanda Nerem

— -- Two Iowa State University students hugged each other for 31 hours in an attempt to crush the existing Guinness World Record for the longest hug ever recorded.

"I honestly don't even believe that we did it," Amanda Nerem of North Central, Iowa, told ABC News. "Me and Alec are both happy we did it.

"We both agreed that if they [Guinness] didn't approve it, we're going to do it again," she added.

Nerem, 19, her best friend Alec Norem, 20, decided they'd try and break a world record this summer.

"We were really bored and were looking up some records that we could possibly beat," Nerem said. "We saw the world's longest hug and said 'Oh, we can do this one.' We sent in an application to Guinness World Records and a month or two later, they contacted us approving that we could do it."

Nerem said she and Norem held onto one another outside ISU's library starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 until 1 a.m. on Sept. 20. -- a total of 31 hours.

"We had to have both arms locked around one another and we had to be standing the whole time," Nerem said. "We were not allowed to sleep and it had to be in a public place where people would be walking around being witnesses."

Every four hours friends would photograph and record evidence of their hug as proof.

Nerem and Norem were allowed five-minute bathroom breaks every hour, and fellow students stopped by the event to feed the pair pizza, pulled pork and energy drinks.

"I don't know a lot of people who can hold onto someone for so long without getting sick of it," Alex Norem said. "I think the whole experience brought us a lot was such a positive experience for both of us. In your four years of college you want to do things that you'll remember for the rest of your life and for her and I, this was perfect for that."

Annette Hacker, director of news service at ISU, said this isn't the first time ISU students have attempted to break world records.

"One of the more memorable records was more than a decade ago, when our students made the world’s largest Rice Krispies Treat," Hacker said. "To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time hugging has been involved. It should be a great memory of these students’ friendship and adventure at Iowa State, no matter what the Guinness judges decide."

ISU once held the record for the world’s tallest amaranth plant, according to Hacker.

Guinness said the record for the world's longest hug is currently held by Ron O’Neil and Theresa Kerr of Canada.

Their embrace was achieved on June 13, 2010 and lasted 24 hours and 33 minutes.

Nerem said she and Norem are in the process of sending evidence of their hug to Guinness for evaluation.