WOKING MP Jonathan Lord pitched up at Pirbright Army barracks on Friday to see the final leg of an extreme sponsored 24-hour fitness challenge.
In fact the super fit Army personnel kicked off their fundraising on Wednesday bag packing at Brookwood Sainsbury’s from 5.30pm until 9pm, before the main event at 9am the next day. The non-stop spinathon and travelling burpees challenge at the British Armed Forces base gym continued into the night and through until 9am on the Friday.
Volunteers were spurred on by their two charities – the Lullaby Trust, who support families who have lost a child through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; and the Army Benevolent Fund, the soldiers’ national charity ‘for life’.
Surprisingly, despite formidable physical demands, the participants were in high spirits and good humour, if a little exhausted. Corporal Scott Graham, the personal trainer who organised the event, said: “It was excellent. It was all a bit of a blur really but the time went really fast.”
Three static bikes were continuously kept going by 72 permanent staff. Meanwhile one of 24 instructors were on a bike opposite pumping them up. When the instructors were not motivating cyclists, they were taking on agonising rounds of travelling burpees (squat thrusts straight into a jump) – which averaged an incredible 477 per person.
Lieutenant Colonel Darren Denning, in charge of HQ Regiment, joked: “I just came in the for glory leg, really – they have been doing it all night. And they are off to work today. They have their own troops to look after.”
Mr Lord told the News & Mail: “It was great to celebrate the end of the Spinathon with the PE instructors and those supporting them. These men and women are extremely physically fit, but you could see they’d given absolutely everything. I found it almost unbelievable that, at 9am, after 24 hours of intense physical activity, they were about to embark on yet another strenuous day at work in the gym, instructing recruits within the centre.
“Huge congratulations to everyone involved in this really demanding Spinathon. The tremendous efforts were all worth it because money was raised for two wonderfully deserving charities.”
Scott added: “So far we’ve raised nearly £1,300… and still counting.”