Grace still has world record in her sights

Grace Blackie during her world record plank attempt
Grace Blackie during her world record plank attempt

It’s a case of down but not out for Grace Blackie after she tried but failed to break the world record for planking at the weekend.

Grace, a regular at Berwick’s Fight Academy, travelled down to the gym from Eyemouth on Saturday with the aim of smashing the current world record for planking - holding yourself on your toes, forearms and elbows - of 80 minutes.

Unfortunately for Grace the record held by 16-year-old American student Gabi Ury still stands after she decided to call it a day after 45 minutes and six seconds.

What was particularly frustrating for Grace is that in practice sessions she’s lasted over an hour and on one occasion lasted nearly 90 minutes taking a one minute break every so often.

And what is even more remarkable,in the time from first starting planking to her world record Grace has had two hip operations and now is awaiting serious spinal surgery.

But if anything, with nine weeks until she is back on the operating table again, Grace is more determined than ever!

“It is disappointing that I didn’t get the record at the weekend,” she admitted.

“Things just weren’t right on the day. There were people there trying to speak to me but even talking takes up a lot of energy when you’re planking.

“Even thinking about something is a real effort.

“It was a learning curve and now I’ve got a clear idea of what I need to do for next time.

“I know I can get the record but when you’re holding that position for that long you’re battling with yourself.”

While holding the planking position for any amount of time, let alone 45 minutes, doesn’t come easily, Grace believes it is mental strength rather than physical that she needs to improve if she is to take her place in the Guinness Book of Records.

“Your fighting with your mind the whole time,” she explained.

“There’s times when I think I can’t go on or I lose focus but some how you have to try and carry on.

“I find having something to watch can really help and I also have a planking playlist on my phone with loads of songs that I find inspiring. I find it easier to go by how many songs I’ve listened rather than how long I’ve been holding the plank.

“As soon as you start to think things like ‘I could have driven to Edinburgh by now’, you’ve had it”.

Grace, who has easily surpassed her new year’s resolution of being able to hold the plank position for 20 minutes, said she had “come too far to give up” and instead of getting herself downhearted saw her attempt as “a stepping stone” to achieving it one day.

Grace’s has so far raised over £2,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and would like to thank everyone who’s supported her.