Andrew Dahir, a 2013 graduate of A&M-Commerce, set two Guinness World Records for climbing in an event that took place recently at the university. Dahir set the record for greatest vertical distance climbed by an individual on a climbing wall in one hour and the record for fastest mile by a male on a climbing wall.
“I wanted to break the records for two reasons. I was part of the team that broke the rock climbing records at Commerce back in 2013 and I wanted to see if I had what it took to be able to compete with an individual record. I also wanted to help raise money for those affected by Hurricane Florence,” Dahir said.
The former record for the vertical distance climb was 800 meters in one hour. Dahir set the new record with 928.5 meters in one hour. The previous fastest mile record was 2 hours and 16 minutes. Dahir’s new record is 1 hour 51 minutes.
“What many people don’t realize about the records is just how much effort goes into the logistics on top of actually physically climbing the wall at record breaking speed,” said Justin Bryant, outdoor adventure coordinator at the university. “Guinness is very strict about documenting the record and Andrew’s attention to detail and organization are just as impressive as his physical ability.”
Dahir said that he chose to return to Commerce to attempt to break the records because it has always been a home for him, and everyone is like family. He also said the outpouring of support from the local community was amazing.
“When he contacted us earlier this year, asking if he could attempt to break more records at our climbing wall, we were more than happy to work with him because we knew if anyone could do it, it would be Andrew,” Bryant said.
In addition to breaking the records, Dahir was able to use the event to raise $170 for those affected recently by Hurricane Florence.
Dahir double majored in mathematics and physics with a minor in astronomy at A&M-Commerce. He is currently finishing his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and plans to pursue a career in systems engineering of satellite systems after graduation.
“We are very proud that he chose to come back to his alma mater to break these records,” Bryant said.