Steeplechase: Athletes vs. Para’s!

In 2017, the qualification standard for British athletes for the 3,000 metre (1.86 mile) steeplechase was set at:

  • 8:58.00 for men; and
  • 10:40.00 for women.

For military personnel attending the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection (AAPPS) course, commonly known as P Company, or Para recruits on the Combat Infantryman Course (Parachute), the qualification standard for the 1.8 mile (2.89 km) steeplechase (simulates operations in a built up area) was set at:

  • 19 minutes for Regular personnel; and
  • 20 minutes 30 seconds for Reserve personnel.

Now, you might think that is not very fast, but you have to consider that military personnel on P Company are:

  • Wearing boots;
  • Wearing a helmet;
  • Traversing a number of ‘water obstacles’ over a cross-country element; and
  • Finishing with an assault course.

Trainee Para’s who complete the distance in 19 minutes travel at approximately 5.68 mph, whilst those who complete it in 20 minutes 30 seconds will travel at approximately 5.26 mph. Those who complete the course in 17 minutes will travel at approximately 6.35 mph.

Run Hive has a tool which combines both an age-graded calculator and a equivalent performances calculator into one if you wish to know how your steeplechase time (or any other time/distance) compares with other runners.


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