Duo Tries to Break World Handshaking Record in California

Kevin Whittaker and Cory Jens deserved a hand after their record-setting attempt, but they probably didn't want to shake it.

The pair sought to set a new world record Monday by shaking hands with one another for 9 1/2 hours, apparently beating the previous record set by two Germans by a half-hour.

The Guinness Book of World Records still must confirm the feat, one that Whittaker, 31, and Jens, 30, felt pretty confident in achieving.

"I looked up what some of the weakest records were," Whittaker said. "I'm not going to break the 100-meter dash record, but I thought I could break this record."

The rules from Guinness appeared easy enough: Handshakers are not required to look each other in the eye or exchange pleasantries; they simply must grip palms and continuously move their hands up and down.

The historic day began at 2:07 p.m. outside the Ferry Building, where the duo endured the discomfort of such issues as sweaty palms, arm cramps and, of course, bathroom breaks. By nightfall, the two decided to continue their quest for greatness at a hotel bar, where they found warmth, comfortable seats and alcoholic beverages.

The effort culminated at 11:38 p.m. with a bottle of bubbly — and some much-needed space.

"It's not that fun, believe me," Whittaker said. "I'm a little tired. My shoulder is tired. In fact, it's extremely painful."