For those who enjoy a morning run, there’s now a new challenge.
Knock out a mile in 10 minutes and 23 seconds.
No sweat? OK, now try it with 96 pounds of equipment – including a 12-pound helmet – along for the effort.
A female U.S. Army soldier just did that – the equipment was a bomb suit — and set a world record in the process at the 2nd Annual Bomb Suit Run and Family 5K at George Mason University in Virginia on April 3.
Capt. Kaitlyn Hernandez, commander of the 717th Ordnance Company, 52nd Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), busted the Guinness World Record earlier this month – by a wide margin.
The previous record was 11 minutes and six seconds.
The bomb suits protect bomb-disposal technicians from close-range blasts.
But that helmet.
Hernandez said, “The helmet’s definitely the worst part because if you’re leaning forward or backward, it’ll take your whole body with you.
“You never know how the suit is going to affect you. Sometimes you’re feeling really great, and sometimes it punches you in the face.”
The previous record-holder among women is Ashley Sorenson, Hernandez’s friend.
Sorenson, then a 1st Lieutenant, set the mark in September 2013. She offered Hernandez some advice.
According to Hernandez, Sorenson told her, “Just to try and stay calm and remember it’s only four more laps.”
With that in mind, Hernandez could move forward.
“Once somebody put that in perspective,” she said, “in my head I knew that I only had to run four more laps, and for the rest of my life it’s done.”
The record for men, via Task & Purpose, is 7:24 by British soldier Mark Gibbs.