My Mighty Marmite Challenge
YOU South Africa|3 December 2020
He’d always wanted to set a Guinness World Record – and now he’s done it with the salty sandwich spread
Jaco-hough Coetzee

Waves of nausea threatened, but 60 super-salty seconds and some serious single-mindedness was all it took for him to realise a lifelong dream.

Billy Cowley, a financial adviser from Pretoria, is now set to be immortalised in the Guinness World Records – even if some may think he’s madder than a March hare.

The 42-year-old’s feat will make haters of a certain sandwich spread with the consistency of old engine oil baulk – but it will also make lovers of the gloopy black stuff green with envy.

During those long lockdown months this spread was hard to come by – and Billy may well have had something to do with it!

He recently put away 420g of Marmite in 60 seconds to break the 2018 record held by German André Ortolf and, in doing so, fulfilled his childhood ambition of breaking a world record. It all went down one recent balmy evening at Hennie’s Sports Bar in Moreleta Park in Pretoria.

Cheered on by a 100-strong crowd that included his wife, Izelle, family, friends and onlookers, Billy, armed only with a teaspoon, sat down to face four 250g jars of the dark brown yeast-extract spread.

He dug in, thinking only about victory and not, as he’d been warned, about the possibility of being rushed to hospital if the high salt content of the Marmite sent his blood pressure skyrocketing.

“Come on, come on, come on!” his sister, Tanya Robberts, yelled as the clock ticked on. As he reached the time limit, the crowd began to count down the seconds. “Five, four, three, two, one!” and Billy pushed aside the last of the Marmite jars and threw up his arms in victory.

A few minutes later, he threw up the Marmite too.

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