The only difference between Gary Duschl and your typical kid is that he never stopped, and his chain is now 12 miles long -- 42 times the height of the Empire State Building, twice the height of Mount Everest and long enough to cross 210 football fields.
"If you were to get in a car and drive 60 mph from one end of the chain, it would take you 12 minutes to get to the other," says Duschl, certain that he's got the math correct.
The 59-year-old Virginia Beach, Va., resident says he works on the chain about one hour a day "more or less" and attributes his unique achievement to "persistence" and a "very understanding wife."
"She's an amazingly tolerant woman," Duschl says. "I used to stretch it out through the house, and she set me up in a place in the den with a TV, so I can watch sports and build my chain."
The chain is now so large -- it weighs nearly 900 pounds -- he only takes it out about once every two years.
As he prepared to add the 3 millionth link to the amazing chain, Duschl loaded up a truck and brought it to Ripley's Odditorium in Times Square in New York, where Ripley's CEO Jim Pattison Jr. signed this labor of love.
"I'm just halfway there," said Duschl, who works as the general manager for Virginia Materials Inc., a supplier of industrial materials.
"I'm going to keep going until this is 26.2 miles -- the same length as a marathon."
Before a crush of news media, Pattison presented an embossed Ripley's certificate and declared, "If this isn't unbelievable, I don't know what is."
In January, Guinness World Records named Duschl's chain one of the top records of the decade.
Duschl figures he'll finish his gum wrapper marathon when he's in his late 70s. He vows to keep up the pace, and he'll accept no help. Each link of Wrigley's Doublemint, Spearmint, Winterfresh, Juicy Fruit and Big Red wrappers are hand-tied by one man.
If you want to help, send Duschl wrappers.
"Most of the wrappers these days are donated by people who want to see me finish my marathon," he says. "Some people send their chains. But I don't use them. I just keep them. The wrappers, I use."
So how much of the gum on this massive chain has he actually chewed? "A little bit," he says. "That's usually the first question people ask.
"I would have to stick a piece of gum in my mouth every 15 minutes day and night for 45 years to have chewed all this gum."