Regular Nova Scotians test athletic prowess against top athletes

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Regular Nova Scotians test athletic prowess against top athletes

Casey Jones may be confident on the football field, but he's unsure how he'll do with the beep test, a conditioning test that involves running between two marks spaced 20 metres apart.

The aim is to run from one mark to the other before the beep sounds.

"The beep test is going to be hardest for me," said Jones, who plays offensive line for the Dalhousie Tigers. "As a football player you don't do much over five, six seconds on the field sprinting wise."

Stamina put to the test

Jones was one of 350 people who signed up for the fourth annual RBC Fanfit on Saturday at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

The event allowed him and other regular people to compare their athletic prowess against national and Olympic-calibre athletes.

In addition to the beep test, there were also sprinting, planking, agility, strength and jumping tests. They're the kind of activities Olympic athletes do to train.

"They were just giving it their all and I was so happy that everyone was just coming out to have fun, but as well push their limits and see if they could beat some of these Olympic athletes, which some of them did," said Olympic gymnast Ellie Black.

Breaking records

That's right: one of the participants did extremely well on the beep test, running at a level 16.

To put that in context, professional basketball players strive to run at least a level 15.

Andrew Russell, an Olympic paddler and the founder of Fanfit, said that score was a new record for the event.

"People did great, people had a lot of fun. They were challenged, they had some high-fives, some smiles, but I think all in all it's excellent," said Russell.

Other athletes who took part in the challenge included freestyle wrestler Samantha Stewart, sprinter Sam Effah, sprint kayaker Mark de Jonge, volleyball athlete Jamie Broder, sprint canoer Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, sprint kayaker Hannah Vaughan and bobsledder Luke Demetre.

The event was a fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which helps support young and upcoming athletes.

Originally, the goal was to raise at least $10,000, but because that amount was surpassed so quickly, the new goal is to raise $15,000.