Video: RAF Honington shows strength in numbers during bleep test record breaker
- Credit: Gregg Brown
More than 500 military personnel from RAF Honington came out in force for a morning fitness session that should also set a new world record.
The base decided to take on the challenge of having the most participants for the ‘bleep test,’ a Guinness World Record that is currently held by a school in Hong Kong.
The figure to beat was 576, but RAF Honington managed to achieve about 589 meaning they have broken the record as long as it is verified by Guinness.
The bleep test, which is a multi-stage fitness test, has different levels and involves running between two points, with the pace progressively getting quicker.
Lines of Honington personnel, many of whom were wearing fancy dress, reached level 5.2 as they ran across the runway of the airfield.
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As well as being a record breaker, yesterday’s challenge was also raising cash for SSAFA, the oldest military charity in the world which was previously known as the Soldiers and Sailors Families’ Association.
Station commander Mick Smeath, who took part wearing an outfit from Sierra Leone, said: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to raise money for SSAFA.
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“They do so much for us on the station in helping our families and our service personnel.
“Also it’s just good fun and it’s excellent for all the families to come out and watch us, and hopefully achieve a record in the process.”
Top athletes can reach 13 to 17 on the bleep test whereas people who would consider themselves fit can manage level 10. The average is level five to nine.
Military personnel in the RAF need to achieve at least level 9.10 (men) and 7.2 (women).
Padre Colin Weir, senior chaplain, said he had heard RAF Marham in Norfolk had failed to achieve the record, so decided to get RAF Honington involved, raising cash for SSAFA and bringing everyone together.
“It was just a great Honington community event,” he said.
To qualify for the Guinness Book of Records 20 independent adjudicators were needed, with Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill taking the role of head adjudicator.
The aim was to raise £1,000 for SSAFA.