By Eric Kowal, Picatinny Arsenal Public AffairsAugust 13, 2013
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - After more than three years of training and recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Joseph Scavone Jr., officially and literally hopped into the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest mile hopped on one foot.
Scavone, 30, set the record little more than a year ago while attempting to break the previous record of 27 minutes and 51 seconds, held by Ashrita Furman. Scavone is a Picatinny Arsenal heavy truck driver with Chugach Industries, the installation's general contractor.
While it may not sound like a record that many would want to achieve, Scavone did it simply as a form of rehabilitation and attaining a sense of self-worth.
The resident of Hamburg in Sussex County started training to break Furman's record after rupturing his Achilles Heel while playing indoor soccer.
"I play indoor soccer every winter and I was in a play, turned around and took a step to sprint in the opposite direction and it just snapped. It felt like I was hit with a baseball bat in the leg," Scavone remembers.
"I lost all function in my calf muscle. I needed surgery to have the Achilles reattached."
Scavone described the injury as devastating, stating "I had to prove to myself that I was still going to be able to do the things I love--working out, running, playing soccer, track and field and just being an overall fitness guru."
Due to the injury his leg strength was uneven and he had to exercise his injured leg more than the other.
"I originally went out to do it just for that reason alone, but after a while of doing it I found out there was actually a world record for it and so my journey started," Scavone said of the mile-hopped challenge.
The Guinness Book of World Records is the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. The annually printed book is the best-selling copyrighted title of all time.
Scavone unofficially had the record the year prior, but was not able to get everyone out for the validation process that includes video and photographs as well two people to time with stopwatches. Also, two unattached witnesses must write and sign statements.
"I kept falling over from exhaustion in my attempts, and once the other foot touches the ground the attempt is null and void," he said.
At the conclusion of the second year of his attempts Scavone managed to finish without falling over, but he missed breaking the record by only eight seconds.
"It was so disappointing but I had to keep after it, after being so close. I began vigorously training through the winter and came back the next spring and destroyed the record by about five minutes," he said.
New World Record
While attempting the record at the Wallkill Valley Regional High School in Hamburg on June 23, 2012, Scavone set the new world record for fastest mile hopped on one foot when he covered the distance in 23 minutes and 15 seconds.
Up for a Challenge
"I'm pretty satisfied with my record," Scavone said, however he also simply welcomes a challenge.
"If it is beaten within the next year or so I may get back on the horse but I'm leaning more towards 'Hey, if someone can beat that time then more power to them.'"