Ross smashes world record for NARS!

See Ross in action, pulling Medic 22 over the Record line:

How it all happened

NARS personnel have been responsible for saving numerous lives over the years and we thought it essential to do something special to mark the charity's 45th anniversary.

A number of ideas were bandied around and we decided to investigate the creation of a new world record. Our initial idea was to team-haul an ambulance down the main runway at decommissioned RAF Coltishall, now owned by Norfolk County Council. The attempt was thought up over 6 months ago.

A submission to Guinness World Records produced an opportunity to challenge an existing record, which was one person pulling a vehicle weighing over 1500Kg for more than 3.2Km.

The challenger was identified out of a chance encounter. An East of England paramedic called Ross Filby, a keen bodybuilder and front row prop for Wymondham RFC, was asked to help with a photoshoot. When the chance of the GWR came up, I rang him and asked if he fancied being a world record holder. When I pointed out the potential bragging rights, he was hooked.

We abandoned the idea of the ambulance, as they weigh 6.5 tonnes, deciding instead to use the NARS rapid response vehicle 'Medic 22', an Audi A6 Allroad, which was weighed before the attempt at 1978Kg, 478Kg over the required weight, not counting the driver.

From that point, the really hard work started. The Guinness rules comprised a 29-page document with a 4-page attempt-specific document. Witnesses, timekeepers, weighing, videoing, surveying. There was a lot to get right. The biggest issue was the location for the challenge. We had to find somewhere with a truly flat surface - which is remarkably difficult, as even vast expanses of concrete have rainwater run-off slopes engineered. We finally settled on the Southern apron at ex-RAF Coltishall. The site was measured by Survey Solutions, a firm of chartered surveyors, who mapped the course in three dimensions to + - 20mm. Each lap would be 500m. Ross would need to do seven to break the record. Even with all that research, the final course had a 300mm, 1:100 slope at each end, so he had to contend with tyre scrub caused by steering, as well as the slope. On the day, it was also very windy, which created more resistance.

On 27th Oct, we ran a demo pull outside the Forum in Norwich. The local Press and media turned up. We got a full-page in the EDP. Mustard TV recorded a short piece which was picked up and edited down by BBC Radio Norfolk. They put it on their Facebook page and within 24hrs, it had had over 80,000 hits(!) Now we knew we were on to something big.

Saturday 28th November

The weather forecast had looked promising all week and held good. We were lucky enough to get a cold, dry sunny morning, sandwiched between days of pouring rain!  Ross had trained in the gym and by pulling his own 2-tonne truck, but nothing could really prepare him for the challenge, which was unbelievably gruelling. The good thing was, the record we were tackling allowed 24 hours to complete the challenge. Ross could take as many breaks as he wished, but we knew a bad weather front was moving in and realistically, he needed to finish by 2.30pm latest. With great encouragement from supporters (who were rapidly heading into hypothermia), Ross managed to dig very deep and by 12.30, he had completed 5 laps of 7. With the record line only 700m away, there was no stopping him by that point. At 13.31, he pulled Medic 22 over the 3,200m line to claim the record. After a brief celebration and a bit of refreshment, he continued hauling. The final distance clocked up was 3,511m at 13.34, a total time of 4hrs 21 minutes.

Considering the bloke's day job is a paramedic, this was really quite a feat. Donations are still needed if we are to hit his target of £5,000