JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Joe Reverdes is officially a four-time Guinness World Record holder.
Reverdes, who’s a personal trainer at his daughter’s Johnston gym, successfully climbed 61,540 feet in 24 hours this past weekend.
The 55-year-old spent his Saturday repeatedly climbing a set to stairs inside the parking garage at the Citizens Bank Johnston Campus. He broke the record just after 8 a.m. Sunday.
“I really wanted to quit 100 times,” Reverdes said. “But you know what? It’s easier to quit. So I kept fighting, step by step.”
This record-breaking journey was different for Reverdes, who took the opportunity to honor New England firefighters this time around. He raised more than $4,000 for the American Lung Association.
Reverdes invited Johnston firefighter Scott Mooney to climb alongside him for the first hour, who happily obliged.
“[Reverdes] is a world-class athlete in every sense of the word and an incredible human being,” Mooney said. “It’s truly an honor to take part in this.”
Though Reverdes didn’t have one firefighter join him for each of the 24 hours like he had originally planned, Mooney wasn’t the only one to show him support. Other firefighters jumped in and climbed with Reverdes as well.
Reverdes said when he started to struggle a few hours in, one of the firefighters motivated him to keep going.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” he recalled. “He’s the one that saved me. He said all of the right words to me.”
But that firefighter refused to take credit.
“This was all you man,” he told Reverdes. “You did this.”
When asked whether he would be breaking another record anytime soon, Reverdes said he thinks he’s done.
“I think I’ve proved myself to the world,” he said. “If I can’t say I’m the best, then I don’t know what to say.”
Johnny Villella contributed to this report.