Faster. Higher. Longer. Stronger.

There is no question that the quest to excel runs deep.

That is why I leapt on the chance to help break a national record.

This was no Olympian-style endeavour – it involved learning the steps to a dance, dressing up as a zombie and heading to a town called Lithgow, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

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Lithgow less than thrilled
Lithgow less than thrilled

The event was part of Lithgow’s ­Halloween celebrations, and an official attempt to smash the Australian record for the largest number of costumed people dancing in unison to the Michael Jackson song ‘Thriller’.

It stood at 450 dancers, according to the town’s website, and with thousands expected as grizzly ghouls from every tomb, what could possibly go wrong?

When the big day came the crowds were huge and the atmosphere electric. Jason Jackson, billed as Australia’s top Michael Jackson tribute artist, performed a high-voltage set of Michael Jackson songs and readied himself to lead the ‘Thriller’ record-break attempt.

Sadly, things did not go according to plan. Jackson and his dancers strode onstage to lead the attempt but too many in the audience seemed unaware that this was no run-through – it was the real thing.

Before you knew it, the moment had passed. “We tried our best,” said a disappointed Jackson afterwards.

The ‘Thriller’ record would have to be broken another day.

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