Army Captain Kaitlyn Hernandez is da bomb. She’s set a new world record for running a mile in a 96-pound bomb suit in 10 minutes and 23 seconds.
Hernandez, commander of the 717th Ordnance Company, 52nd Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), broke the previous record while at the 2nd Annual Bomb Suit Run at George Mason University in Virginia.
While running a mile under 10 minutes is a piece of cake for most members of the armed forces, the bomb suit weighs around 100 pounds and it is a grueling challenge.
These suits are designed to protect bomb-disposal technicians who may be exposed to explosive blasts at close range. The equipment is heavy and hot, and running inside one is both physically and mentally taxing.
“The suit is 84 pounds and the helmet weighs 12, so the helmet’s definitely the worst part because if you’re leaning forward or backward it’ll take your whole body with you. Overcoming that is more mental. It’s usually a split-second, any time I run and start feeling sorry for myself I just have to get over it and say it’s not that bad.”Captain Kaitlyn Hernandez
Months ahead, Hernandez trained for the big event by committing to her usual Crossfit workout, and then adding a weekly training session of running in the suit.
It’s safe to say that Hernandez’s hard work paid off.
“As soon as it was done it was kind of a whirlwind, so I didn’t really have a chance to take it in at first, but I was very happy and excited.”Captain Kaitlyn Hernandez
The previous record-holder was then-1st Lt. Ashley Sorenson, who ran the excruciating mile in 11 minutes and 6 seconds back in September 2013 in Hawaii. Sorenson and Hernandez have known each other for a long time, as both were stationed in Hawaii together and often played rugby together.
Hernandez says that Sorenson “was able to give [her] some advice — just to try and stay calm and remember it’s only four more laps. Once somebody put that in perspective, in my head I knew that I only had to run four more laps, and for the rest of my life it’s done.”
We hope that Hernandez carb-loaded after her workout, she definitely earned it.