Thousands of Ottawa students joined in a giant bear hug along the Rideau Canal Friday in an attempt to break the world record for the largest hug.

Almost 16,000 students from 15-area Catholic schools gathered to share the hug, which spanned about seven kilometers along the canal.

Although the students participated in the giant hug, they haven't broken the Guinness World Record yet. Officials now need to examine video footage to confirm the students held the hug for at least 10 seconds.

The rules to break the record indicate each person should put their right arm around the waist of the person to the right of them, and their left arm around the waist of the person to their left.

When they're given the go-ahead, the participants must squeeze the person on both sides of them, holding the hug for a minimum of 10 seconds.

The students not only banded together to break the record, they also raised $500,000 for cancer research in the process.