The greatest speed achieved by a tortoise is 0.28 m/s (0.92 ft/s) and was achieved by Bertie at Adventure Valley, Brasside, UK on 9 July 2014.
GWR caught up with Marco Calzini and his wife Janine (both UK), who own Adventure Valley, a family adventure park in Brasside, Durham, UK which is home to Bertie:
Why did you try for this particular record?
Bertie has always been very active. Visitors to Adventure Valley would wonder just how fast he was. Having found a previous record for a tortoise named Charlie, I tested Bertie against it and he beat it every time. So we applied for the record.
What was the biggest challenge?
Building the track to the specifications in the guidelines. Also, sourcing an architect to verify the attempt. On the day, the local press were invited and I was worried that Bertie might not feel like it. But as soon as the timer started, I knew the record had been broken because of Bertie’s pace.
What advice would you give to someone else attempting a record?
Don’t give up. Have confidence and self-belief. If you don’t manage it, there is always another day. Do your best.
What does Guinness World Records mean to you – and Bertie?
Since setting a new Guinness World Records title, Bertie has become quite a celebrity and very popular with visitors. He now lives in a luxury enclosure with his girlfriend Shelly and his Guinness World Records certificate proudly displayed on the wall.
I used to collect the Guinness World Records books – my first was the 1980 edition – and I fondly remember seeing them all in the shops. To be in the book is a dream come true, a massive achievement!