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Army bomb disposal officer from Bicester runs 13-minute mile in aerospace suit made by Coventry company

The Business Magazine article image for: Army bomb disposal officer from Bicester runs 13-minute mile in aerospace suit made by Coventry company
22 June 2021

WO2 Si Hannaford, a Bomb Disposal Operator for the British Army, has run an impressive 13-minute mile in an NP Aerospace Bomb Suit - 13 days into a 26-day, 1,777 mile £100k ultra-triathlon fundraiser for the bomb disposal charity Felix Fund and the Bicester-based charity, the Hummingbird Centre.

Si ran the mile in the 35kg fully operational and unmodified NIJ certified 4030 ELITE Bomb suit on Sunday 13th June in John O’Groats, Scotland. The run was in preparation for an attempt to beat the fastest mile in bomb suit world record later in the Autumn of 7-minutes 24-seconds which was set by a British Army Solider in 2017.

Facing challenging terrain and exhaustion after cycling 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats and swimming 21 miles (the length of the English Channel) he wasn’t put off by the task. He managed to run an impressive 13 minutes 8 seconds over challenging terrain on the hottest weekend of the year.

The mile marked the start of the last leg of Si’s journey – a 756 mile run back to his home town of Bicester where his wife and four children aged from three to 16 years will be waiting for his return.

Glynn Jones, NP Aerospace Product Manager, who was there to witness the challenge, said: “As we watched the triathlon unfold on social media, we became aware of the extent of the challenge we had set Si. We were unsure whether it would even be possible to complete a mile in a bomb suit let alone achieve a fast time. However, his determination and energy was clear to see from the start and it was an honour to be there and cheer him on.”

Simon Hannaford said: “It was a brave move to commit to the challenge with everything else going on but I did it for the charities and their efforts to support veterans and people suffering with cancer. I wasn’t sure how it would go but I am so glad I did it! I am looking forward to attempting to beat the fastest mile record in the NP Aerospace Bomb Suit when I am recovered and back on flat ground.”

James Kempston, CEO of NP Aerospace, said: "Outstanding result and dedication in the middle of a charitable cause. From the start, Si said the least he could do was suffer for 26 days to support charities who help people who are suffering for much longer. After a grueling swim and a 1000+ mile bike ride he decided to continue with his plan to run a mile in a bomb suit before running a further 756 miles. Most would have given up but Si’s tenacity and motivation are clearly world class and we are thrilled and proud to have been supporting him and raising awareness for his cause. We are also excited to support him in beating the fastest mile in a bomb suit world record later in the Autumn.”

Michelle Hannaford, Si's wife, said: “When Si says he is going to do something it always gets done. Whether it’s running a mile in a bomb suit during a triathlon or mowing the lawn! He was determined to do this challenge for the charities involved as what they stand for is very close to home, with his mother and friend being diagnosed with cancer. It’s also been good for his mental health doing something valuable for the community. He’s done an amazing job and the family can’t wait to have him home.

Si Hannaford is running, cycling and swimming 1777 miles in 26 days to raise £100,000 for charities, the Felix Fund and the Hummingbird Centre. The challenge started in Portsmouth on 1st June and will end in Bicester on 26thJune. The Felix Fund provide welfare and financial support to military and police personnel working in bomb disposal and search. The Hummingbird Centre is a cancer support center based in Launton, near his home town of Bicester.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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